Workers protest Westin Bayshore’s “green” program which hurts hotel housekeepers

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. 

Notice of proposed Bylaw amendments

Click here for Proposed Bylaw Amendments: http://www.uniteherelocal40.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/NEW-Local-40-bylaw-amendments-for-membership-meeting.pdf

Vancouver Fairbnb Members Release Report on Platform Accountability

Broad Vancouver coalition calls on the City to hold Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms accountable for illegal listings

Vancouver – A Vancouver-based coalition representing workers, tenants, landlords, housing advocates, and hospitality providers has joined forces to demand that the City of Vancouver hold short-term rental platforms directly accountable for illegal listings. The local groups are affiliated with Fairbnb.ca, Canada’s national coalition advocating for fair rules for short-term rentals.

Fairbnb.ca’s Vancouver members include: Mole Hill Housing Society, Generation Squeeze, LandlordBC, Vancouver Tenant’s Union, Homes not Hotels, Bed & Breakfast Innkeeper’s Guild, the Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society and UNITE HERE! Local 40.

During today’s press conference, the Coalition urged the City to address weaknesses in its currently proposed short-term rental regulations which will come before Council this fall. The press conference was timed with the release of Fairbnb.ca’s new report, Accountable at the Source: Why Platform Accountability Can’t Be Left out of Vancouver’s Short-Term Rental Regulation.

Local 40 member, hotel worker Jonathan Milne was one of the speakers at the press conference outside Vancouver City Hall, along with Quentin Wright of Mole Hill Community Housing, David Hutniak of LandlordBC, Liam McLure of the Vancouver Tennant’s Union, and Tom de Grey of the SRO Collaborative.

Download the Report Here: http://fairbnb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Fairbnb_Platform-Accountability_final.pdf

Media Contact: Octavian Cadabeschi at 604-813-2105 or ocadabeschi@unitehere.org.

Press Conference: Fairbnb Vancouver Calls for Better Enforcement of Short-Term Rentals

Vancouver – September 12, 2017 –  Today at 12pm, a coalition of local Vancouver groups will be releasing a report on the regulation of short-term rentals like Airbnb; the report has been drafted jointly with Canada’s national Fairbnb.ca coalition.

These groups include:

Mole Hill Community Housing Society, Generation Squeeze, LandlordBC, Vancouver Tenants Union, Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative, and UNITE HERE! Local 40

The report addresses a critical weakness in Vancouver’s proposed short-term rental by-law, which is currently under consideration by City Council.

WHERE: Vancouver City Hall Steps, North side.

WHEN: 12:00 noon, until approximately 12:30pm

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Octavian Cadabeschi at 604-813-2105, ocadabeschi@unitehere.org

You can also follow us @fairbnbcanada on Twitter and Fairbnbcanada on Facebook