Thousands of Chicago hotel workers, at now 26 hotels, are in their second week of an open-ended strike, the first broad-based hotel strike in recent memory. The atmosphere is nothing less than electric throughout downtown Chicago. As the Socialist Worker article from last week states, “Since September 7, Chicago’s downtown has been filled with picket lines at seemingly every other block. The raucous chanting reverberating down the skyscraper canyons and the “On Strike” signs appealing for solidarity were strong reminders of the 2012 Chicago teachers strike, with its massive demonstrations that turned downtown streets into rivers of red.”
The hotel workers strike underlines the idea that when workers fight they can resist and win — a lesson from the “red state” educator strikes this Spring. Confidence is also building among the strikers, as shown by the workers at the Cambria Hotel, who did not initially go out, joining the pickets on the fourth day of the strike, walking out in the middle of their shift, being greeted by strikers from other hotels in a show of solidarity. There is also the possibility that hotel strikes will spread. Strike authorization votes passed at Marriott-owned hotels in Boston, Hawaii, San Franciso, San Jose, Calif., and Seattle. Local unions in Detroit, Oakland and San Diego are considering doing the same.
Currently, this strike does not seem to have an end, although there is talk negotiations may have resumed. Therefore, in the same way socialists built solidarity with teachers strikes and other struggles that continue in Arizona, Washington, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, socialists around the country can organize to support the hotel strike.
Chicago socialists have walked the picket lines with the striking workers. This video of a member of the Loyola ISO branch gives a sense of the openness to socialist politics.
What can you do to support the strike?
- Read and circulate this Socialist Worker article.
- Share the Chicago Hotel Strike Solidarity Campaign Facebook page online, forward it to other socialists, unions, student and community groups, and post solidarity photos.
- Share and donate to the Chicago Hotel Workers Strike Solidarity Fund GoFundMe page to raise money for supplies and food like pizzas for the strikers. Please forward this to other socialists, unions, and student and community groups.