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Laid-off Marriott Copley workers protest outside hotel

They want better severance pay, and to be rehired when the business improves.

Laid-off Marriott Copley hotel workers protested in front of the Copley Square hotel Friday.
Laid-off Marriott Copley hotel workers protested in front of the Copley Square hotel Friday.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Workers who recently lost their jobs at the Boston Marriott Copley Place demonstrated in front of the hotel Friday, demanding that management provide full severance pay and reinstate them when business returns. The hotel, the second largest in Boston, reopened in August and laid off about half its staff — 230 workers and 30 managers — in September, according to Unite Here Local 26, the hospitality workers union that has been helping the non-union workers. Workers’ severance pay was capped at 10 weeks, instead of the previous 26, and they were told they could reapply for their jobs as new employees when demand rises.

Marriott Copley general manager Alan Smith, who previously noted that the hotel has experienced “unprecedented business impact,” told the Globe: “We respect the right to demonstrate.”

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Many hotels have reopened around Boston, but business is bleak. Occupancy rates are hovering around 25 percent on average, and an estimated 8,000 hotel workers are still unemployed.


Katie Johnston can be reached at katie.johnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.