Marriott is a no show at hotel strike hearing at San Francisco City Hall

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hundreds of Marriott employees could be seen marching from the Marriott Marquis hotel to San Francisco City Hall on Friday morning.

There was excitement on the picket line, as hotel workers looked forward to the noon hearing at San Francisco's Board of Supervisors.

"I feel a lot of hope, I feel happy. It seems like the City is paying attention," Luis Hernandez, a hotel chef tells ABC7.

Each person standing in the long line to get inside the meeting has been on strike for five weeks now. They say their pay is so low, they have to work more than one job to make ends meet. The group is calling for higher wages, health benefits, and what they say they deserve from Marriott.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen called for today's hearing. She invited the union and the Marriott to come and explain the situation, but says the hotel CEO told her no one from the hotel would be making an appearance. He says Marriott employees are well compensated.

RELATED: 2,500 Marriott workers go on strike in San Francisco

"Marriott refused to come to the hearing and sent me a long letter with excuses," Ronen said.

Other board members are sharing Ronen's frustration. They agree that workers' wages are too low.

"We can't even get you housing because you don't qualify," Vallie Brown, District 5's Board of Supervisor, said. "That is ridiculous."

One by one emotional testimonies from Marriott employees were heard by the board on Friday.

"If I get sick and cannot pay for my health benefits what will happen to my kids," one woman said at the podium.

The union says minor progress has been made in negotiations. However, with the support of the board, they're feeling encouraged.

"They're glad to finally have a moment when they can share with the city what it's like to work for the richest hotel company in the world and still not be able to survive," Rachel Gumpert, National Press Secretary for Unite Here Local 2 said.

The union is set to negotiate with Marriott on November 12th.

We have more information on the Marriott workers strike here.
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