Four Providence hotel workers and a Central Falls city councilor say they will go ahead with their planned hunger strike despite even though the state legislature already acted on their issue and Governor Chafee said he intends to sign the municipal minimum wage mandate into law.
“My neighbors should be able to vote on whether or not the hotel owners should give us a raise,” said Santa Brito in a press release. “I am fighting for the future of my son.”
Brito, a leader of the effort, worked at the Renaissance Hotel. She will be joined by Mirjaam Parada, who works at the Omni Hotel, Yilenny Ferreras, who worked at the Providence Hilton and Central Falls City Councilor Shelby Maldonado.
“As an elected official, I want the power to address issues directly, like the minimum wage, for my constituents,” Maldonado said. “I know that workers in my community, many of whom are hotel workers, need a raise. I want the people of Providence to vote and be heard.”
The hunger strike arose from the Providence hotel workers fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage.
The issue began when city hotel workers petitioned the Providence City Council to institute a $15 minimum wage at hotels with more than 25 rooms. On the same night the City Council put the issue on the November ballot, last Thursday, the state House of Representatives passed a budget amendment that prevents cities and towns from implementing a minimum wage higher than the state rate. The Senate approved the budget bill on Monday and Governor Chafee has since indicated he will sign it into law.
The hunger strike is expected to begin on Thursday.