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Hotel union marches with Stonewall Warriors

Published Jun 24, 2010 8:49 PM

Hundreds of thousands of spirited marchers and cheering spectators participated in Boston’s 40th Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer Pride Parade on June 12. The theme of this year’s march was “From Riots to Rights.”

WW photo: Maureen Skehan

The Stonewall Warriors contingent raised many issues of solidarity. Their banner said, “Come out against racism, sexism, foreclosures and war,” while their signs opposed Arizona’s racist anti-immigrant laws and supported the Hyatt Hotel workers.

The strong Stonewall Warriors contingent linked up and marched with the large UNITE HERE Local 26 contingent and float, in solidarity with Hyatt Hotel workers and the hotel boycott. The boycott was begun after the Hyatt 100, workers who were forced to train temporary workers to do their job, were replaced by the same workers at half the pay.

Local 26 members carried signs at the Boston Pride march which said, “Hyatt is anti-worker, anti-gay.” UNITE HERE locals have participated in Pride marches in more than 12 cities nationwide so far this year.

In California, the LGBTQ community has joined with UNITE HERE to support the boycott. Hyatt Hotel owner Doug Manchester contributed large sums to the right-wing campaign to put the anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 on the ballot in that state.

In San Francisco, LGBTQ activists have staged “flash mob infiltrations” of boycotted hotels, encouraging support for workers’ rights and singing, “Don’t be caught in a bad hotel!” Boston’s LGBTQ community carried out a similar action at the Hyatt Hotel here on June 11, the day before the Pride march.