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Unite Here! Local 26 members and allies hold Labor Day picket outside the Omni Providence Hotel

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“For a lot of our neighbors and friends Labor Day means having cookouts, doing back to school shopping, maybe go to the beach, but for us, it means it’s time to fight,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 organizer Jonah Zinn, addressing the crowd of Omni Hotel Providence workers, allies and supporters. “These 200 workers at the Omni Providence have been without a contract for seven months now. Our demands are very simple, and I think they are demands that most Rhode islanders can identify with: Good wages, affordable healthcare, a good pension, and safe work loads.”

The 200 employees at the Omni Providence Hotel workers have been without a contract for seven months and “are tired of waiting.”

People picketed and rallied outside the hotel with signs that read “UNITE HERE” and “One Job Should Be Enough.”

“We are working really, really hard,” said Providence City Councilmember Carmen Castillo (Ward 9), the only elected housekeeper in the United States. “They don’t know how hard, because a housekeeper in this hotel – everyone has a pain. We don’t get to sleep because every time, we get pain in the middle of the night, and they don’t care.”

Several elected officials and candidates, all Democrats, made appearances at the picket line, including:

  • Candidate for Governor Matt Brown.
  • Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Aaron Regunberg
  • Candidate for Mayor of Providence Kobi Dennis
  • Representative Julie Casimiro (District 31, North Kingstown, Exeter)
  • Candidate for State Representative Rebecca Kislak (District 4, Providence)
  • Providence City Councilmembers Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), Carmen Castillo (Ward 9), Luis Aponte (Ward 10), Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3) and Sabina Matos (Ward 15).
  • Pawtucket City Councilmember Meghan Kallman (Ward 5).
  • Candidates for Providence City Council Jason Roias (Ward 4) and Deya Garcia (Ward 8)

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Here’s the video and pictures:

Protest

UNITE HERE Local 26 organizer Jonah Zinn:

Chris Cook, a 20-year veteran in purchasing and receiving and Executive Board member of UNITE HERE Local 26:

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Aaron Regunberg:

Robert Annika, member of the bargaining team:

Providence City Councilmember Luis Aponte:

Providence City Councilmember Carmen Castillo:

“We are working really, really hard,” said Providence City Councilmember Carmen Castillo (Ward 9), the only elected housekeeper in the United States. “They don’t know how hard, because a housekeeper in this hotel – everyone has a pain. We don’t get to sleep because every time, we get pain in the middle of the night, and they don’t care.”

Unite Here organizer Jonah Zinn:

Luis Aponte

Nirva LaFortune and Meghan Kallman

Sabina Matos

Rebecca Kislak

Martha Siddique, Nirva LaFortune and Aaron Regunberg

Martha Siddique and Aaron Regunberg

Kobi Denis and Julie Casimiro

Aaron Regunberg

Carmen Castillo

Matt Brown


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