Hospitality Union Launches New ‘Unethical DSDL’ Website as Hilton Metrotown Lockout Enters Ninth Month

Vancouver, B.C. – UNITE HERE Local 40 has launched a new bilingual (English/Korean) website, UnethicalDSDL.ca, to shine a light on the overseas company behind the lockout of Hilton Metrotown workers. Visitors to the site are urged to take action and direct a message to South Korea’s Ambassador to Canada concerning DSDL’s treatment of workers during the pandemic.

DSDL Co., based in Seoul, is the owner of Hilton Vancouver Metrotown and was once a part of South Korean conglomerate, Hyosung Corporation. The founding Chairman of DSDL has a history of convictions for financial crimes committed in South Korea.

Hilton Metrotown locked out its staff on April 15, 2021, after terminating 97 long-term workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the affected workers are women and immigrants. Workers are entering their ninth month on the picket line and have urged the hotel to reinstate all workers, restore daily room sanitizing, and to preserve wages, benefits, and working conditions amidst a labour shortage. The B.C. and Alberta Federations of Labour have endorsed boycotts of Hilton Vancouver Metrotown and DSDL’s hotels in Edmonton, respectively.

The new website provides background on the prominent family behind DSDL. It’s founding Chairman, Cho Wuk-rai, was convicted and sentenced to prison twice in South Korea: the first time for embezzlement, and later, for arranging illegal financial transactions that led to the bankruptcy of two publicly traded companies, including one that later became DSDL. Other members of the Cho family formed industrial conglomerate Hyosung Corporation and Hankook Tire and have recently faced criminal prosecution for tax evasion and bribery in South Korea.

The new website also highlights DSDL’s relationship with lender Canadian Western Bank and questions whether the bank fully examined the risks of doing business with this hotel owner.

UnethicalDSDL.ca features an online petition tool to send a message to DSDL and the South Korean Ambassador to Canada, Keung Ryong Chang, urging a resolution to the labour dispute. The site also provides information about the current boycott of DSDL hotels in Canada, and about recent actions taken at South Korean consulates and embassies across North America.

“It’s time for DSDL to act ethically and stop mistreating us long-term, loyal workers. Many of my co-workers and I gave two decades of service to Hilton Metrotown and proudly served guests from all over the world.  We don’t deserve to be fired and locked out, especially during a public health crisis. Workers in Canada expect better treatment than this,” said Sergio Moyer, a locked-out guest services lead with over 20 years on the job.

For more information, please contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected], or Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, [email protected]

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UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.