Marriott (MAR) executives seem to be speeding to solutions on labor strikes that have caused thousands of employees to walk out and protest.
Protests at Marriott locations in Detroit and Oakland have come to an end after over a month of strikes.
"We are encouraged by the progress achieved in resolving the strikes in Oakland and Detroit with strong, fair contracts, and are hopeful that similar progress can be achieved in the other six cities still on strike," said Donald "D" Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE, the labor union organizing the protests. "The progress made by Marriott this week in both cities shows that they are able to make reasonable movement, and we are hopeful that soon one job will be enough to live with dignity on at every Marriott in all cities."
The progress made right before the company's earnings release and presentation this week will be a welcome sign for investors who have seen the dispute involving nearly 8,000 dissatisfied workers unfold over recent months, serving as a nice piece of bridge-building into earnings.
That said, progress is not equal to full solutions.
Of course, ahead of the midterm elections on Tuesday, much of the struggle has gotten political.
"We have been given word that [Massachusetts] Governor Charlie Baker has moved his election night operation out of the Sheraton Boston, one of the 7 Marriott-operated hotels where workers are on strike," said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. "On behalf of Boston's striking Marriott workers, I would like to thank our good friend Governor Baker for his leadership and act of solidarity with the striking workers."
The declaration of political solidarity with labor unions from a Republican like Baker is a troublesome one given Republicans' typical sympathy to businesses.
Meanwhile, in a more typical move, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has thrown his strength behind the protests in San Diego and has called out executive management for political contributions.
The protests have only served to balloon as numerous liberally-minded student groups in the college town of Boston and come out to join the striking laborers and add public pressure to management.
It's a thing of beauty when @UniteHereLocal2 is on duty! Hundreds of @UNITEHERE San Francisco members lined up to participate in the Board of Supervisor's urgent special hearing on the #MarriottStrike of downtown San Francisco #1U pic.twitter.com/kFpWxX041E— Rachel Gumpert (@rlgumpert) November 2, 2018
It might depend on whether you are a glass half full or glass half empty person, is some progress a good sign? Or is a laundry list of locations still on strike so bad it outweighs the progress?
Management will likely do their best to convince the market of the former in an earnings call tomorrow morning.
A full list of the remaining protests can be found below:
Aloft Boston Seaport by Marriott
Element Boston Seaport by Marriott
Ritz-Carlton Boston Common by Marriott
Sheraton Boston by Marriott
W Boston by Marriott
Westin Boston Waterfront by Marriott
Westin Copley Place, Boston by Marriott
The Westin Gaslamp Quarter San Diego by Marriott
San Francisco Marriott Union Square
Palace Hotel by Marriott
W San Francisco by Marriott
Westin St. Francis Union Square by Marriott
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Courtyard San Francisco Downtown by Marriott
St. Regis San Francisco
San Jose Marriott
Various Locations in Hawaii
The Royal Hawaiian by Marriott
Sheraton Maui Hotel by Marriott
Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort by Marriott
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani by Marriott
Sheraton Waikiki by Marriott