Part of Hospitality Workers’ Day of Action across Canada and the U.S.
This Thursday, hotels workers held an action at the Westin Bayshore to draw attention to how the company’s “Make a Green Choice” program leads to lost hours and income for workers, dirtier rooms, heavier workloads, and more chemicals being used on the job.
This is part of UNITE HERE ‘s day of action in which tens of thousands of hospitality workers are participating in demonstrations across 40 cities in Canada and the U.S. Today’s actions include strikes, rallies, public announcements of union organizing campaigns, and worker delegations to call for justice at work.
In Vancouver, hotel workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, protested and organized a delegation to Westin demanding that the Marriott chain end the use of the program.
Workers say the “Green Choice” program is a way for hotels to cut workers’ hours rather than conserve energy. Under this “green” program, guests are incentivized with a $5 coupon to decline housekeeping for the day. However, housekeepers report the dark side of the program: their hours are cut from the schedule – causing a loss of income – and their workloads become heavier. Rooms left unattended for several days can take three times as long to clean, and hotel housekeepers say they must use extra chemicals to clean these rooms.
Under the guise of the “Green Choice” program, the Westin Bayshore saves money at the expense of hotel housekeepers, primarily women, who see their jobs become more unpredictable and precarious.
Meanwhile, in Toronto this week, UNITE HERE Local 75 partnered with Oxfam Canada’s Shortchanged Campaign to call attention to hotel housekeepers’ working conditions across Canada and around the globe. To view the video, see: https://www.facebook.com/OxfamCanada/videos/10155665228744277/
Today, women are leading the fight to create more sustainable jobs in the hotel industry!
Local 40 represents thousands of hospitality workers in the Lower Mainland and across BC. The Local is an affiliate of UNITE HERE which represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, food service, gaming and related industries.