News Westin workers protest downtown
posted by October 24 at 19:31 PMon
At the downtown Westin this rainy afternoon, hotel workers and a handful of unions staged the second in what is looking to become a series of protests of the Westin’s employment practices. The first protest, back in June, drew hundreds of people (including Mayor Nickels) and featured that giant top-hatted capitalist “fat cat” balloon that made the rounds at a couple protests this summer. Today’s protest was smaller, but still managed to shut down the block of 5th outside the Westin as fifty or so people waved Chiller font signs and another twenty held a “Hotel Workers Rising!” banner across the street while they waited for their planned arrests to occur.
After an hour of chanting through the primer of protest tunes (“Ain’t no power like the power of the people and the power of the people don’t stop!” “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” “The people! United! Will never be defeated!” “Hey! Ho! Corporate greed has got to go!” ) the police went down the line and handcuffed everyone who signed up for the civil disobedience, everyone else shouted support and the whole rally ended with a rousing chorus of “We will be back!” This last part confused me, since I thought the whole point of the protest was to put pressure of the Westin — if it works, they won’t be back. I guess they’re not optimistic.
The Westin workers’ union is currently renegotiating its contract with the hotel and seriously miffed that the hotel management has offered only 10 cent raises, while increasing the weight of mattresses and the number of linens the maids are required to heft.
The arresting officer in a ski mask and shorts wins the SPD fashion award of the year, by the way.