1. Federal Government Cites Renaissance Providence Hotel for Unfair Labor Practices


    This is the second government citation against the hotel in three months. The complaint charges the hotel with multiple unfair labor practices related to deterring workers from organizing for better working conditions. Full press release after the jump. 

    Read More

  2. We’re launching the boycott of the Renaissance Providence Hotel today. Don’t eat at, sleep in, or otherwise do business with this hotel. 

  3. BOYCOTT THE RENAISSANCE PROVIDENCE HOTEL!
After years of struggle, workers at the Renaissance Providence Hotel will officially announcing a public boycott of the hotel this Wednesday, December 4th.
Meet at 4:30 at the hotel for a press conference and a picket. 
In a tremendous start to the boycott, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will announce its cancellation of a block of rooms they had reserved for their General Assembly convention. 
Come tell the Procaccianti Group that Providence won’t rest until justice is served at the Renaissance Hotel! 

    BOYCOTT THE RENAISSANCE PROVIDENCE HOTEL!

    After years of struggle, workers at the Renaissance Providence Hotel will officially announcing a public boycott of the hotel this Wednesday, December 4th.

    Meet at 4:30 at the hotel for a press conference and a picket. 

    In a tremendous start to the boycott, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will announce its cancellation of a block of rooms they had reserved for their General Assembly convention.

    Come tell the Procaccianti Group that Providence won’t rest until justice is served at the Renaissance Hotel! 

  4. OSHA CITES RENAISSANCE PROVIDENCE HOTEL FOR “SERIOUS” SAFETY VIOLATIONS

    After months of investigating, the Rhode Island branch of OSHA has found the Renaissance Providence Hotel guilty of two serious safety violations carrying an initial fine of $8000. 

    We made this video last April on the issue—

    The Providence Business Journal writes that the hotel was guilty of “routinely exposing employees’ hands, arms and faces to corrosive and irritating chemicals in housekeeping and laundry areas and not performing a workplace-hazard assessment” and “not providing suitable facilities for quick flushing of eyes in areas where such chemicals were being stored or used.”

    While the initial $8000 fine isn’t much, the citation is an important vindication for workers who have been fighting these chemical dangers for months. 

  5. New video! Santa Brito, a housekeeper at the Procaccianti Group owned Renaissance Providence Hotel, talks about why she’s fighting to cut Procaccianti’s massive city tax break. 

    If you’re in Providence, please contact your city councilor and urge them to end the corporation’s tax break. 

  6. 
We haven’t had an article written by a contributing hotel worker in a while, so I’m excited to post this short piece and photo from NYC hotel worker and NYHTC member Athena Mennis on the importance of solidarity between labor and the LGBTQ movement..
Labor and the Gay Rights Struggle
by Athena Mennis (@uAthenaAntonia) 
Labor organizations have only recently begun to realize that in order to truly win justice they must fight for everyone’s rights. The AFL-CIO has faced its own serious struggles fighting discrimination amongst unionists. Back in the 1970s the AFL-CIO began recognizing certain constituency groups, to “promote the full participation of women and minorities in the union movement and ensure unions hear and respond to the concerns of the communities they represent.” 
Sadly not until 2005 was the AFL-CIO’s Resolution #2 put in place to promote solidarity across the board, and help ensure full inclusion and participation amongst all members, regardless of age, ethnicity, sex, or orientation.
Resolution #2 has helped promote solidarity amongst all communities. The creation of the Pride-at-Work constituency group connected the labor movement with the LGBT community. Labor began acknowledging the rights of same sex couples, years before our government even gave them a chance. Pride-At-Work was active in making sure LGBT rights and benefits for same sex couples were included in union contracts. In many cases, union contracts provide LGBTQ workers benefits and protections far beyond what’s guaranteed by state or municipal law. 
The union I’m a member of, the New York Hotel Trades Council (Unite Here, AFL-CIO), recognizes same sex marriage, partnerships etc. both internally and in all our contracts. Same sex couples are allowed all equal benefits that every other member is allowed.
Such contracts and policies obviously do not represent complete liberation for LGBTQ people, and much of the labor movement still has a long way to go in embracing the LGBTQ struggle. Still, the emerging labor-LGBTQ solidarity we’re seeing certainly represents an important step forward that can only strengthen both struggles.

    We haven’t had an article written by a contributing hotel worker in a while, so I’m excited to post this short piece and photo from NYC hotel worker and NYHTC member Athena Mennis on the importance of solidarity between labor and the LGBTQ movement..

    Labor and the Gay Rights Struggle

    by Athena Mennis (@uAthenaAntonia)

    Labor organizations have only recently begun to realize that in order to truly win justice they must fight for everyone’s rights. The AFL-CIO has faced its own serious struggles fighting discrimination amongst unionists. Back in the 1970s the AFL-CIO began recognizing certain constituency groups, to “promote the full participation of women and minorities in the union movement and ensure unions hear and respond to the concerns of the communities they represent.” 

    Sadly not until 2005 was the AFL-CIO’s Resolution #2 put in place to promote solidarity across the board, and help ensure full inclusion and participation amongst all members, regardless of age, ethnicity, sex, or orientation.

    Resolution #2 has helped promote solidarity amongst all communities. The creation of the Pride-at-Work constituency group connected the labor movement with the LGBT community. Labor began acknowledging the rights of same sex couples, years before our government even gave them a chance. Pride-At-Work was active in making sure LGBT rights and benefits for same sex couples were included in union contracts. In many cases, union contracts provide LGBTQ workers benefits and protections far beyond what’s guaranteed by state or municipal law. 

    The union I’m a member of, the New York Hotel Trades Council (Unite Here, AFL-CIO), recognizes same sex marriage, partnerships etc. both internally and in all our contracts. Same sex couples are allowed all equal benefits that every other member is allowed.

    Such contracts and policies obviously do not represent complete liberation for LGBTQ people, and much of the labor movement still has a long way to go in embracing the LGBTQ struggle. Still, the emerging labor-LGBTQ solidarity we’re seeing certainly represents an important step forward that can only strengthen both struggles.

  7. I’ll be leading free tour/lectures at the Slater Mill Museum this weekend on early Rhode Island labor history from the first factories to the first strike in US history led by Pawtucket women in 1824.
This will be a real talk tour: we’ll cover the intimate connections between slavery and early capitalism, the dismal conditions of the early child workers, and the growing anger and solidarity that led to our country’s first working class collective action.
This is a special program I’ve been researching for the last year as part of my work at the museum. This is probably the last time it’ll be free so don’t miss it! It’s part of the larger weekend-long Labor and Ethnic Heritage Festival happening on the museum’s grounds complete with food, music, drinking, and more. 

    I’ll be leading free tour/lectures at the Slater Mill Museum this weekend on early Rhode Island labor history from the first factories to the first strike in US history led by Pawtucket women in 1824.

    This will be a real talk tour: we’ll cover the intimate connections between slavery and early capitalism, the dismal conditions of the early child workers, and the growing anger and solidarity that led to our country’s first working class collective action.

    This is a special program I’ve been researching for the last year as part of my work at the museum. This is probably the last time it’ll be free so don’t miss it! It’s part of the larger weekend-long Labor and Ethnic Heritage Festival happening on the museum’s grounds complete with food, music, drinking, and more. 

  8. THOUSANDS OF FAST FOOD WORKERS TO STRIKE THURSDAY AUGUST 29

    Very exciting stuff. Thousands of fast food and other low-wage workers will be striking next Thursday to demand better pay and the right to unionize without intimidation. Check out Low Pay Is Not OK to learn more, sign their petition, and learn how you can join the protests. 

  9. Protest the Renaissance Providence Today and Every Wednesday!

    Workers at the Renaissance Providence will be holding a demonstration outside the hotel today and every Wednesday from 4:00PM-6:30PM. Come show your support for the full time or just 15 minutes! We need to show the hotel that the public is behind the workers. 

    Workers are demanding better working conditions and an end to the hotel’s tax exemptions. See our videos for more information on the campaign. The hotel is located at 5 Avenue of the Arts, Providence, RI.

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  10. WHAT CHEER? BRIGADE ON TOUR
I’ll have more hotel worker stories and videos up soon, but for now I want to announce that What Cheer? Brigade, the radical brass band I play in that’s featured in a few of our videos, is on tour throughout the southern US for the next 2.5 weeks! Check out www.whatcheerbrigade.com/shows for full details. 
Jul 11: Philadelphia, PA
Jul 12: Baltimore, MD
Jul 13: Richmond, VA
Jul 13: Richmond, VA
Jul 14: Chapel Hill, NC
Jul 15: Asheville, NC
Jul 16: Columbia, SC
Jul 17: Athens, GA
Jul 18: Birmingham, AL
Jul 19: Pensacola, FL
Jul 20: New Orleans, LA
Jul 21: Baton Rouge, LA
Jul 22: Hot Springs, AR
Jul 23: Little Rock, AR
Jul 23: Russellville, AR
Jul 24: Liberty, TN
Jul 25: Chattanooga, TN
Jul 26: Knoxville, TN
Jul 27: Washington, DC
Check out the band playing the first picket line at the Renaissance Providence Hotel:

    WHAT CHEER? BRIGADE ON TOUR

    I’ll have more hotel worker stories and videos up soon, but for now I want to announce that What Cheer? Brigade, the radical brass band I play in that’s featured in a few of our videos, is on tour throughout the southern US for the next 2.5 weeks! Check out www.whatcheerbrigade.com/shows for full details. 

    • Jul 11: Philadelphia, PA
    • Jul 12: Baltimore, MD
    • Jul 13: Richmond, VA
    • Jul 13: Richmond, VA
    • Jul 14: Chapel Hill, NC
    • Jul 15: Asheville, NC
    • Jul 16: Columbia, SC
    • Jul 17: Athens, GA
    • Jul 18: Birmingham, AL
    • Jul 19: Pensacola, FL
    • Jul 20: New Orleans, LA
    • Jul 21: Baton Rouge, LA
    • Jul 22: Hot Springs, AR
    • Jul 23: Little Rock, AR
    • Jul 23: Russellville, AR
    • Jul 24: Liberty, TN
    • Jul 25: Chattanooga, TN
    • Jul 26: Knoxville, TN
    • Jul 27: Washington, DC

    Check out the band playing the first picket line at the Renaissance Providence Hotel: