One of the secondary hotels Facing Race has contracted with is currently in an active labor dispute, as 160 workers are currently on strike at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit (a Marriott franchise partner).

Facing Race stands in solidarity with the unions striking at the Westin Book Cadillac and will not cross that or any other picket line, nor expect Facing Race attendees to do so.

Continue reading for the following:

  • Statement to Facing Race Attendees from UNITEHERE! Local 24 President 
  • Steps Race Forward is Taking
  • Ways You Can Show Support
  • Important Info for Facing Race Attendees
  • Changing Hotel Reservations

Statement from Nia T. Wilson

Nia T. Winston, President of UNITEHERE! Local 24 Michigan/Ohio, sent Race Forward and Facing Race attendees the following welcome message:

“In Detroit, workers at the Marriott-operated Westin Book Cadillac walked off the job to demand just economics that are comparable with our union-counterparts in the city, set schedules, and safe workloads. We want one job to be enough for us to live in our city, raise our families here, and retire with dignity. We appreciate the support and work of Race Forward, and welcome you to Detroit. We respect your decision to cancel your reservations at the Westin Book Cadillac, and to opt-in for a union hotel where workers are not striking. Striking workers and I look forward to attending the Facing Race conference at the union Cobo Convention Center.”

Steps Race Forward Is Taking

  • Race Forward is standing in solidarity with the UNITEHERE! members by re-negotiating our contract at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and moving all of Race Forward’s reservations to the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.
  • We are also in active communications with national union representatives and in partnership with local union organizers.
  • We have invited UNITEHERE! representatives to Facing Race and will provide them with stage access to raise awareness about their campaign.
  • You can read the full statement from the Facing Race team here.

Ways You Can Show Support

The best way you can show your support is by contributing to the Detroit Solidarity Fund. Other steps you can take include:

  • UNITEHERE! Local 24 has invited Facing Race attendees to join them at the picket line at the Westin in Detroit.
  • Tell Westin management that you support the workers and encourage them to provide the workers with a safe workplace and living wage.
  • Any time you are in a Marriott property, please refuse the “green choice” which hurts workers.
  • Follow and engage with UNITEHERE! Local 24 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Support striking workers across the U.S. by sharing info about the strike via social media using the hashtags #1job and #MarriottStrike.
  • Check to see if properties in your cities are striking: https://www.marriotttravelalert.org/at-risk-hotels/

Important Information for Attendees

  • This is a multi-site and multi-city strike, but please know that this labor dispute is NOT with all Marriott locations or its franchised partners.
  • Our primary hotel with the largest room block is the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, which remains in good and fair standing with its workers.
  • You may hear from other organizations advocating a boycott across the Marriott brand, but we assure you, we would not use this hotel had we not heard from the union itself that it is acceptable to them.

Changing Hotel Reservations

If you are currently booked to stay at The Westin Book Cadillac for the Facing Race Conference, here’s what you can do to change your reservation and support the UNITEHERE! workers and their campaign:

  • Email the Facing Race Planning Team at facingrace@raceforward.org using the Subject: WESTIN, and provide your name and confirmation number, and someone on the planning team will inform you if your reservation is being automatically rebooked as part of Race Forward’s re-negotiations.
  • If your reservation is not automatically being re-booked, call and cancel your reservation at The Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. 
  • Rebook your stay at another hotel in the Detroit area. See the list of fair hotels on our website.
  • If you are having trouble finding a hotel room, please check with Motor City Hotel and Casino. We have contracted additional rooms at a reduced rate for our attendees now through October 26th.

Please be assured that we will continue to monitor these negotiations closely and keep our attendees and supporters informed on any developments.