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    Wyndham hotel workers hold one-day strike

    Boston, Massachusetts - 6/25/2015 - Wyndham Hotel house keeper Freddie Delorbe demonstrates the type of protection that should be used to clean what workers at the hotel consider hazardous working conditions at the Wyndham during a city council hearing at City Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, June 25, 2015. Workers claim sick people going for treatment at Massachusetts General are staying in the hotel and are not disposing of hazardous needles and other materials properly and that they don't have the facilities to do it. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)
    Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
    Wyndham Hotel housekeeper Freddie Delorbe demonstrates the type of protection that should be used to clean what workers at the hotel consider hazardous working conditions at the Wyndham during a City Council hearing Thursday at City Hall.

    Workers at the downtown Wyndham Boston hotel are holding a one-day strike to protest an alleged lack of training and supplies to deal with medical waste left by hotel guests.

    More than half of the hotel’s 50 to 60 employees are striking Thursday, according to Tiffany Ten Eyck, a spokeswoman for Unite Here Local 26, which is seeking to organize the staff. They allege that the hotel’s management isn’t doing enough to protect them from needles, blood, and other medical waste left by hotel guests from nearby hospitals.

    “All the workers in the hotel are concerned,” even though housekeepers were most at risk, Ten Eyck said. “Workers report that the hotel has made some changes, but we want to be sure they’re protected, no matter what they face in a hotel room.”

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    Last month, workers filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over the alleged unsafe conditions. The Wyndham is located next door to Massachusetts General Hospital, and like other hotels in Boston, it offers a special rate to patients who need to stay nearby but don’t need a hospital bed.

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    Striking workers also will testify before the Boston City Council on Thursday evening about worker safety at hotels, Ten Eyck said.

    In a statement, the Wyndham Hotel Group denied the workers’ allegations. It said it was cooperating with the OSHA inquiry, and said employees hadn’t notified the company of any problems with medical waste until May, when it had managed the hotel for more than two years. Kathryn Zambito, a Wyndham spokeswoman, said 17 employees didn’t come to work today.

    “We regret that an isolated group of employees have not reported for their scheduled shifts today,” Zambito said in an email. “All on-property employees undergo safety training - including blood-borne pathogen and hazardous materials training – and proper equipment and supplies are available to employees. Should inventory deplete, we make every effort to restock as soon as possible upon notification.”

    Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.