By SHERI GASSAWAY
Chesterfield, MO – Members of Painters District Council 58 – dressed in eye-catching bedbug and exterminator garb – handbilled the new TownePlace Suites by Marriot at the hotel’s grand opening to alert the public that the hotel chain used Illinois Valley Drywall, of Mendota, IL, a non-union contractor that pays far below the area standard wages and benefits set by Council 58 for painting and taping.
“If they’re cutting corners by not using union labor, we wondered what other corners TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotels were cutting to save a buck,” said Painters Local 115 Field Representative Otto Schoenberg, who helped with the handbilling.
THE BEDBUGS BITE
To find the answer to that question, Painters DC 58 didn’t have to look very far. They simply turned to Yelp.com, a website where the public can post reviews of local businesses.
Two reviews on other TownePlace Suites owned by Marriott stood out with complaints about bedbugs. Painters DC 58 added those reviews to their handbill and dressed in bedbug and exterminator costumes to drive the point home.
The handbill includes a Yelp review from Brett G in Denver, NC, whose family stayed at one of the hotels in Mooresville, NC, and states: “This hotel has bed bugs. My family is covered in bites. No one with Marriott will call us back. We’ve been trying to reach someone for four days.”
Another review from Frank D in Cibalo, Texas, states: “Bed bugs!!!! Do not stay here. We informed the front desk about our concerns that there were bed bugs in our room after our first night. After returning from our son’s basic training graduation, we were assured that the room was clean and bug free. After our second night, my wife was covered in bites. Some became infected and left permanent scars.
“Their parent company Marriott, the Hotel Management and their insurance company (Chubb Services) have been less then apologetic. Marriott Cares passes the buck to the hotel, the hotel doesn’t even acknowledge the issue.”
The new hotel is located at 748 Premium Way near the outlet mall in Chesterfield Valley.
Painters DC 58 is asking the public not to patronize the hotel.