MONTREAL - The 60 unionized employees of the Marriott Residence Inn Montreal-Westmount (which, in spite of its name, is not located in the City of Westmount) walked off the job Saturday, despite the fact that major negotiations between the hotel industry and its employees are a year away.

The workers gathered at the medium-sized hotel at 2170 Lincoln Ave. at 9 a.m. to form a noisy protest against current working conditions.

The hotel employees unanimously adopted a strike mandate last week because, said the Confération des syndicats nationaux, employees don't receive any pension plan or group insurance.

"There are people who have been working here for 20 years and they don't have retirement plans or their vacation days are not enough," said hotel employee Manuelle Parisi.

"It's also about the amount of rooms that we have and too much work for one person. They ask us to multitask way too much, (more) than what one person can actually do."

The hotel's 200 rooms remain open in spite of the labour stoppage. Management refused an interview with CTV.

Some guests said the strike wasn't causing any significant service issues.

"Oh I can live. I'll live. I can make a bed," said Dennis Daly, from St. Louis, Miss.

But Nick Halley and his partner from Guelph, Ont. decided to check out two days early.

"I don't think we're going to get any fresh towels and stuff like that – and there was nobody in the buffet this morning to clear tables," he said.

The hotel will undergo renovations in September and employees say about 50 per cent of workers could lose their jobs at that time.

Service, reception and maintenance staff recently affiliated with the union, whose collective agreement expired in pre-season negotiations.

Those negotiations will begin next summer.