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S.F. and Oakland mayors urge Marriott to negotiate with striking workers

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Avery Nulph, a union captain with Unite Here Local 2, leads a chant as workers picket outside the Marriott Marquis in downtown San Francisco on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The mayors of San Francisco and Oakland urged Marriott executives on Thursday to negotiate to end a hotel strike that has now entered its fourth week.

Approximately 7,700 workers in eight cities across the U.S. are currently on strike.

“We strongly support the UNITE HERE members who are on strike and urge you to move quickly toward a satisfactory resolution to negotiations with your employees,” Mayors London Breed and Libby Schaaf said in a letter sent to Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson.

“UNITE HERE members tell us that negotiations have failed to move the company adequately on a number of issues including income that ensures one job is enough to live with dignity in our great, but increasingly expensive cities,” they continued.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is holding a special meeting Friday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss the strike.

On Wednesday, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson sent a letter to Supervisor Hillary Ronen declining to attend.

“As it relates to the strikes that are currently taking place at seven Marriott Properties in San Francisco, the union has attempted to portray Marriott as a company that has both disregarded its bargaining obligations and denied its employees fair wages and benefits,” Sorenson wrote, adding that this portrayal “couldn’t be further from the truth.”

A representative for Marriott was not immediately available to comment on the letter from Schaaf and Breed.

“Hotel workers are grateful for the continued support of Mayor Breed and Mayor Schaaf,” said Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE Local 2, in a written statement. “Politicians and community members are rallying around our cause because our message resonates throughout the Bay Area and across the U.S.: one job should be enough.”

“We remain available to assist in any way to help resolve these negotiations,” the mayors wrote.

This story was updated to include a comment from UNITE HERE Local 2

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