Over 12,000 Marriott employees have been striking across the United States, and it’s not just because they want a raise. Both artificial intelligence and technology are improving every day, and the workers want assurance that their jobs won’t be replaced by robots.
Automated check-ins and concierge apps are already integrated into many hotels, and Marriott workers want job security that ensures their jobs will not be cut by technological innovation. The workers would like to be retrained for jobs in the digital age, and if not, be offered severance packages if jobs are taken away
Another issue being highlighted by the unions is a greenwashing initiative called Make a Green Choice, which incentivises guests to opt out of housekeeping, which the hotel is branding as sustainable. The unions complain that the initiative is taking jobs away from housekeeping staff in a bid for greener optics. Housekeepers at Marriott properties are now left working on a per-job basis, staying up all night to see if they have work in the morning.