Washington-area hospitality union Unite Here Local 25 and several local activist groups are putting pressure on D.C. hotels to temporarily close ahead of Inauguration Day next week, warning of "an imminent threat to the safety" of the city. 

In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, John Boardman, executive secretary-treasurer of Local 25, called for all metro area D.C. hotels, except for those hosting members of the National Guard and other security personnel, to close immediately.

"Last week, we watched in horror as insurrectionists terrorized the District, putting our members, as well as the broader public, at risk of violence and exposure to Covid-19," Boardman said. "Given the danger and fluidity of this situation, the best way to guarantee the safety of hotel workers and District residents is to keep these groups out of the city and out of its hotels."

Boardman added that hotels that continue to operate during the coming week should permit staff to "opt out of reporting to work and allow them to leave at any time if they feel unsafe."

"No worker, union or nonunion, should have to risk their life to go to work," Boardman added.

Local 25's concerns were echoed in a public statement released by Black Lives Matter DC and ShutDownDC in which the groups urged all D.C. hotels to shutter between Jan. 15 and Jan. 21.

"We need to take urgent action to prevent a repeat of the violence we saw on Jan. 6," Black Lives Matter DC and ShutDownDC wrote. "Closing hotels completely for these six nights is the only way to guarantee the safety of hotel workers, neighbors, vulnerable and unhoused residents, incoming administration officials, members of Congress and our democracy. If hotels do not willingly close, we ask Mayor [Muriel] Bowser to extend today's emergency order and close all hotels in the city."

Both organizations emphasized that hotel employees should receive full pay during the six-night closure. 

In addition to calling for a citywide hotel closure, ShutDownDC and Black Lives Matter DC asked residents and activists to make direct calls to seven specific hotels that allegedly hosted Capitol rioters last week, requesting that they close. That list of properties includes the Grand Hyatt Washington, the Capital Hilton, the Line Hotel, the Marriott Metro Center and the Hay-Adams, among others. 

Two of those hotels -- the Grand Hyatt Washington and the Line -- have already faced some social media backlash in the wake of the Capitol attack.

While D.C. hotels have remained mum on closures thus far, Airbnb announced on Wednesday that it's canceling all bookings -- including reservations made via its HotelTonight arm -- in the Washington metro market during inauguration week.

Airbnb attributed its decision to guidance from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Mayor Bowser, who put out a statement Monday urging Americans not to travel to the nation's capital for the inauguration.


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