For Immediate Release
Vancouver, BC — The BC Federation of Labour (BCFED) has declared a public boycott of the Sheraton Vancouver Airport, in support of hundreds of UNITE HERE Local 40 members currently on strike at the top convention hotel. The official boycott extends to its sister hotels next door – the Hilton Vancouver Airport and Marriott Vancouver Airport – which are operated by the same company.
“Our movement doesn’t use boycotts lightly. But when an employer repeatedly treats their workers with callous disrespect and appalling unfairness, a boycott is exactly the right response. UNITE HERE Local 40 workers deserve our full support — and this employer doesn’t deserve a dime of our business,” said Sussanne Skidmore, President of the BC Federation of Labour.
Officers of the BCFED, representing nearly fifty affiliated unions with approximately 500,000 members across the province, voted to declare the boycott on June 23. The BCFED is urging affiliates and the broader public to seek alternative accommodation and not conduct any business with the three hotels until an agreement is reached between the employer and the striking workers.
The strike on the Sheraton hotel is into its second week. UNITE HERE Local 40 members are picketing for living wages as Vancouver airport hotel room revenues have surged to record highs.
“We are grateful for the support and solidarity from the BCFED. This boycott sends a strong message to the employer that hotel workers will not be ignored – our members will continue in their fight for living wages, supported by our allies, until they win the respect and fair contract they deserve,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40.
The decision to support the boycott comes on the heels of a ruling by the BC Labour Board last week declaring that the Sheraton Vancouver Airport violated labour laws by using unlawful replacement workers to perform bargaining unit work of striking workers. The Labour Board ordered management to cease and desist and to provide a daily list of all permissible replacement workers that are performing bargaining unit work on that day, with their specific assignments and duties.
“We urge all union members and every worker to give their valuable business to hotels that respect working people,” said Skidmore.
Workers are picketing the Sheraton Vancouver Airport daily from 7am to 7pm. UNITE HERE Local 40 members at the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport (formerly Pacific Gateway) in Richmond also remain on strike; the BC Federation is continuing its boycott of that hotel. Prospective customers are advised to book at these alternative airport hotels: River Rock Casino Resort, Radisson Hotel on Cambie, or go to FairHotel.org.
Media Contacts: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, email@example.com.