Union hospitality workers demanding safe reopening for tourism industry

Hundreds of housekeepers and food and beverage workers from Disney and other large hotels, restaurants and the Orange County Convention Center gathered for a car caravan Monday morning. 

“Workers can’t wait. DeSantis we need help,” one woman yelled out her window. 

The majority of the folks in the caravan are members of UNITE Here Local 737. 

They’re protesting the risk of a safe reopening. 

Dozens upon dozens of cars full of protester filed out of their gathering point driving up and down International Drive with their cars decorated, waving flags and honking their horns.

“Imagine you’re a server and you’ve got to approach a table. Imagine you’re a housekeeper and you’ve got to go into an occupied guest room... What are you supposed to do? We want to make sure that workers have a seat at the table to get workers voices heard so we can declare a workplace is safe for workers and guests,” said Jeremy Haiken. 

He’s the president of the Local 737. 

Haiken tells FOX 35 News that he’s in positive talks with Disney, but he’s concerned about other hospitality workers who aren’t represented in numbers like this. 

“We’re calling on all hotels and restaurants to disclose, 'what are our safety measures?'” Haiken said.

After caravanning and honking for an hour, union members gathered for a rally. 

“We’re going to stick together and make sure that when we reopen it’s safe for workers to go back to work and safe for the guests, but not before then, right?” Haiken said over a megaphone.   

“Yes!” The crowd answered loudly in unison.

They’re getting their message out loud and clear:  You can’t have one without the other. 

“Safe workers means safe guests. Safe workers, safe guests! Safe workers, safe guests!” Haiken said.