Wanda Williams’ speech at Debs-Parsons-Randolph Dinner 2019

Chicago DSA presented Wanda Williams with the A. Philip Randolph Award on behalf of Chicago’s Hotel Workers for winning their strike against hotel operators citywide.

Wanda Williams was born on the Southside of Chicago, where she still lives. She has worked as a Housekeeper at the Blake Hotel for 20 years where she serves as a Shop Steward and Key Leader of Local 1, UNITEHERE. In September of 2018, Chicago saw its first citywide hotel strike. Thousands of workers at twenty-six hotels participated. Wanda and the other leaders
at the Blake led their coworkers out on strike. They won year-round health insurance for the  first time in Chicago in the Hotel Industry, as well as raises and improved parental leave benefits. “That strike made so many of us at the hotel more united. I am so proud of everyone who went out,” says Wanda.

Recorded May 11, 2019