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Union Workers At Boston's Battery Wharf Hotel Go On Strike

Union workers at Boston's Battery Wharf Hotel walked off the job Thursday morning and are now on strike.

The decision to strike comes after about a year and a half of failed contract negotiations. About 75 employees are striking outside the North End hotel.

Union spokesman Carlos Aramayo said that among the sticking points, Battery Wharf Hotel workers were upset the company had proposed freezing wages, ending union health care and eliminating pension contributions.

"We did not expect there to be a strike action, but I think you can see by the 100% participation in the strike that these workers are strong, they are determined, and they are going to be out here until they get what they deserve," he said.

The company, The Westmont Hospitality Group, has not responded to WBUR's request for comment on the strike.

Less than a year ago, hotel workers at seven Marriott hotels in Boston went on strike for better wages and benefits for nearly 50 days beginning last October. The Battery Wharf Hotel and Marriott workers are members of the same union, Unite Here Local 26.

The union says that since the Marriott strike, many other Boston hotels have matched the benefits that workers won during that work stoppage. However, the Battery Wharf Hotel has not done the same, according to the union.

With reporting from WBUR's Callum Borchers, Paul Connearney and Jonathan Cain

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