Union ally was physically held by security guards as he attempted to exit the hotel
Richmond, BC — A union supporter has filed a lawsuit with the Province Court of BC against Sheraton Vancouver Airport for unlawfully detaining him inside the hotel. The Claimant is suing the hotel for false imprisonment and is asking for general, aggravated and punitive damages in the amount of $35,000.
Alton Hei Ching Cheung is a member of the Richmond community who volunteered to support UNITE HERE Local 40 members currently on strike at the hotel. On June 16, Cheung – who is not a member of, nor works for the Union – went inside the Sheraton to help gather information and determine if the hotel was complying with labour laws.
Cheung moved around the hotel and took photos and videos. Management asked him to go to the hotel lobby, which he complied with. Cheung was then told by security guards that he was trespassing. In response, Cheung stated he would leave the hotel. It was then communicated to him that he was placed under citizen’s arrest, could not leave, and the police would be called. As Cheung attempted leave the property, guards placed their arms around Cheung and prevented him from exiting.
During Cheung’s interactions with security, managers and other employees of the hotel surrounded him and began to record him. Cheung was detained for approximately 20 minutes before guards allowed him to leave. Cheung stated he felt threatened and afraid after hotel security guards physically blocked him from exiting the property.
“The treatment of Alton Hei Ching Cheung by Sheraton Vancouver Airport is worrying, as the hotel has been previously caught breeching labour laws. Our union is concerned about ongoing illegal conduct by the Sheraton Vancouver Airport in their attempts to undermine our strike action. The Richmond community should continue to keep an eye on this hotel,” said Zailda Chan, UNITE HERE Local 40 President.
During the ongoing labour dispute at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport the Labour Board found the hotel violated labour laws on three occasions by using impermissible replacement workers. Last week, the Board declared the hotel wrongfully directed customers to their sister hotels next door to circumvent the strike. Workers at Sheraton Vancouver Airport walked off the job on June 14 in their fight for living wages.
Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, firstname.lastname@example.org