Workers at Marriott hotels in Boston go on strike

The union is pushing for more protections as the industry undergoes major changes, namely from technology such as self-check-in kiosks and robot room service.

Workers and supporters picketed outside the Sheraton Boston by Marriott Wednesday morning. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Hotel workers walked off the job at seven Marriott hotels in Boston Wednesday morning, launching the first hotel strike in the city’s history following months of fruitless contract negotiations.

The job action involves more than 1,500 Marriott International employees, from housekeepers to bartenders to bellmen at the Aloft Boston Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport District, Ritz-Carlton Boston, Sheraton Boston, W Hotel Boston, Westin Boston Waterfront, and Westin Copley Place.

The workers’ union, Unite Here Local 26, voted to authorize the strike on Sept. 12. It represents 5,000 hotel employees in the Boston area but is focusing on Marriott — the city’s, and the world’s, largest hotel company. The chain faces potential strikes from Unite Here members in San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, and Honolulu.