Vancouver – Hotel workers from downtown Vancouver’s most prestigious hotels, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, held a protest on Tuesday, May 14th outside of Rosewood Hotel Georgia, named the #1 hotel in Canada by U.S. News & World Report. Rosewood Hotel Georgia, a luxury hotel charging up to $7,000 per night for a suite, should be leading the industry in terms of decent working conditions for Vancouver’s hotel workers. At a time of record profits, workers are demanding that the hotel and others in the downtown core offer 5-star working conditions, including full-time jobs.
Over 1,500 UNITE HERE Local 40 members from Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront are currently in contract negotiations demanding significant improvements for hospitality workers. Despite Vancouver’s tourism boom, the hotel industry has progressively cut workers’ hours, turning full-time positions into on-call, precarious jobs. This makes it difficult for hotel workers, predominantly women, to achieve liveable incomes.
Vancouver’s downtown hotel workers are fighting for full-time hours, safe workloads, an end to gender discrimination, and higher wages in order to provide for their families in North America’s most expensive city. Job security is also a major concern in these negotiations, and especially critical for workers at the Four Seasons which is set to close in January 2020. Four Seasons workers want to be rehired when the hotel opens in a new location.
“I am proud to be a hotel worker, but the hotel industry needs to treat us better. One recent summer, over 20 of my co-workers were on WCB because of injuries caused by the high workload in only two months. Even though my hotel is making tons of money, I don’t even have stable 40 hours of work,” said Nym Calvez, Housekeeper at the Pinnacle Hotel and an Executive Board Member of UNITE HERE Local 40.
It has become a widespread practice for hotel workers to be classified as a full-time employees, yet are routinely assigned less than 40 hours per week. The workers are required to be available on-call, making it difficult to search for a second job.
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Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, firstname.lastname@example.org