Thursday, September 27, 2018

hotel workers register anger with marriott in decisive strike vote - photoessay

David Bacon Fotografias y Historias
By David Bacon
Truthout, September 25, 2018


Workers celebrate the 98.6 percent vote to strike.

There are times when a vote is more than an expression of opinion about a political candidate. There are even times when it's more important than deciding whether joining a union is a good idea. For hotel workers, last week was one of those times - a vote to go on strike or not.

Striking may cost a housekeeper her rent money for several weeks at least, and maybe longer. It may have a bellman walking sidewalks instead of the carpeted hotel lobby. Voting to strike is a choice with certain risk and sacrifice on one side. On the other, however, workers have to envision and weigh the future of their jobs. Would a bartender eventually lose her job to a new cocktail-mixing machine? Would the rising premium for a cook's health care cut into his paychecks further and further every year?

Deciding to strike or not is a question with real and immediate consequences. It is a very democratic process. Everyone affected gets to choose. And everyone has to live by the result, regardless of how each individual votes. Once workers strike, those with families at risk will have no patience or tolerance for anyone who breaks ranks to go to work.

These photographs show what happened last week when the hotel workers in San Francisco and Oakland cast their votes. They reflect the great diversity of the hotel workforce - multiracial, young and old, men and women, immigrants and native born. And they show people's determination. It's no accident that more than nine out of 10 in every ballot chose to strike. In the photos you can see the anger they harbor against Marriott Corporation. You can see the relief when the votes were counted - relief that pretty much everyone agreed on what to do about it.

In San Francisco and Oakland the vote in favor was 98.6 percent. Hotel workers in these two cities are joining other Marriott workers in Hawaii, Boston, San Jose, Seattle, San Diego and Detroit, who all voted to strike by over 90 percent. Chicago hotel workers are already on strike at Marriott and other hotels.

More than 2,300 San Francisco hotel workers have been working without a contract since August 15 at the Marriott Union Square, the Palace Hotel, the W, Westin St. Francis Union Square, Marriott Marquis, Courtyard San Francisco Downtown and the luxurious St. Regis. They voted in a ballroom at the Parc 55, the scene of a Local 2 organizing drive that took four years to win. Oakland hotel workers voted at the Local 2850 office on Broadway, just across the street from the Downtown Marriott, where walking the picket line will be a first-time experience.

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Exhibition Schedule
Exhibitions of photographs are scheduled for the following venues and dates:

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte
August 8, 2018 - October 14, 2018
Artist talk, Saturday, August 25, 5pm
Museum on Main,
603 Main Street
Pleasanton, CA  94566

The Border, The Work and the Fight for Justice
September 1, 2018 - October 1, 2018
opening reception Saturday, September 8, 6-9 PM
Union Hall Gallery
2126 K Street
Sacramento, CA  95816
In the Fields of the North - Scheduled exhibitions:

January 13, 2019 - March 10, 2019
Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, Vallejo
September 1, 2019 - December 22, 2019
Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley
January 5, 2020 - March 1, 2020
Community Memorial Museum of Sutter County, Yuba City
March 15, 2020 - May 10, 2020
Monterey Country Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, King City
March 21, 2021 - May 23, 2021
Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock

In Washington’s Fields - Scheduled exhibition:

February 5, 2020 - July 15, 2020
Washington State Historical Museum, Tacoma, WA

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
Photographs and text by David Bacon
University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte

302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
paperback, $34.95 (in the U.S.)

order the book on the UC Press website:
use source code  16M4197  at checkoutreceive a 30% discount

En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

Los Angeles Times reviews In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte - clickhere

En los campos del Norte documenta la vida de trabajadores agrícolas en Estados Unidos -
Entrevista con el Instituto Nacional de la Antropologia y Historia

Entrevista en la television de UNAM

David Bacon comparte su mirada del trabajo agrícola de migrantes mexicanos en el Museo Archivo de la Fotografia

Trabajo agrícola, migración y resistencia cultural: el mosaico de los “Campos del Norte”
Entrevista de David Bacon por Iván Gutiérrez / A los 4 Vientos

"Los fotógrafos tomamos partido"
Entrevista por Melina Balcázar Moreno - Laberinto

Die Kunst der Grenze für "eine andere Welt"

Die Apfel-Pflücker aus dem Yakima-Tal


"Documenting the Farm Worker Rebellion"
"The Radical Resistance to Immigration Enforcement"
Havens Center lectures, University of Wisconsin, click here

San Francisco Commonweallth Club presentation by David Bacon and Jose Padilla, clickhere

EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
Entrevista sobre la exhibicion con Alfonso Caraveo (Español) REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog

Cat Brooks interview on KPFA about In the Fields of the North  - Advance the time to 33:15

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

Other Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)
Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

En Español:

EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)


For more articles and images, see and