You can hear them before you can see them, often blocks before you can see them.
Hotel workers are on strike in Chicago, picketing in front of several hotels each day. Plastic buckets used as drums seem to be popular implements, but whatever they use, they are not going about it quietly.
According to an article from In These Times about the “loud and energetic picket lines,” it’s the first citywide hotel strike since 1903, and this section really stood out as I read it.
In addition to raises, safer workloads, increased sick days and improved job security, workers are fighting to win year-round health insurance. Hotel workers with lower seniority are typically laid off during the winter months, when business gets slow, and lose their healthcare until they are rehired in the spring.
“Hotels may slow down in the wintertime, but I still need my diabetes medication when I’m laid off,” Q. Rivers, a house attendant at the Palmer House, says. “They work us like dogs when it’s busy and then kick us to the curb in the winter.”
Every morning since we’ve gotten to Chicago, my wife and I have taken the elevator to the mezzanine level, where a hot breakfast buffet, baked goods and drinks have been waiting for us, and a cook has been there to make eggs to order.
Once we have showered and gotten dressed, we’ve headed out for that day’s activities, coming back to a clean room, fresh towels and washcloths and clean, new sheets on our bed.
The Embassy Suites where we’re staying isn’t one of the hotels targeted in the strike, but as I’m trying to remember on my trips that not everyone is on my vacation, it doesn’t hurt to also remember that there are a lot of people whose job it is to make my vacation as pleasant as possible.