Strike looms at premier convention hotel during busy season
Richmond, BC – Sheraton Vancouver Airport (YVR) workers issued 72-hour strike notice to management at noon today. The workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, will be in a legal strike position as of Monday afternoon. This comes after 88% of the Sheraton YVR staff – including housekeepers, banquet servers, front desk agents, and the hotel’s Starbucks food service workers – voted in favour of strike on May 20.
Most staff at the hotel earn less than Vancouver’s living wage of $24.08. A majority of Sheraton YVR workers are women and immigrants, many of whom are working multiple jobs to afford rent and groceries for their families and struggling to make ends meet. Sheraton YVR workers are seeking similar compensation for their service and dedication to the hotel’s success. Workers also want the hotel industry standard for banquet gratuity transparency to ensure tips are being correctly distributed, and for a guarantee that guest rooms will be cleaned daily.
“Sheraton is a top destination for people landing at YVR airport and is known to be one of the largest and busiest hotels in the lower mainland. We are approximately $5 per hour behind other similar hotels in the Vancouver area – that’s up to a 30% wage difference. In our latest bargaining sessions with the company, they have made it clear they have no intention of providing us with living wages. As working at Sheraton YVR has become increasingly frustrating, we have never been more united and willing to fight for what is right for us and our families,” said Shaelyn Arnould, a Starbucks food service worker who has been at the hotel for 5 years.
Sheraton YVR, operated by Larco Hospitality, is owned by the Lalji family – one of the 20 wealthiest families in Canada.
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