Richmond, BC – Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport hotel has admitted to engaging in multiple violations of labour laws during a protracted strike by its hotel workers. On Wednesday, the BC Labour Relations Board declared in a consent order that the employer breached the labour code by illegally using replacement workers to do the work of striking UNITE HERE members.
Workers have been on strike at the hotel, formerly Pacific Gateway, for over two years. They struck after the employer terminated 143 long-term workers – mostly women – during the pandemic and demanded drastic concessions from remaining workers. Strikers have picketed the hotel daily since May 3, 2021; a customer boycott is also in effect.
The employer, an affiliate of PHI Hotel Group, was caught using impermissible workers to do housekeeping and maintenance work. The employer was also found to have used four unlawful replacement workers, hired through a contractor, to perform the work of striking bargaining unit members.
The Labour Board ordered the employer to cease and desist from using impermissible replacement workers and ordered the employer to provide several disclosures on work performed at the hotel. These include providing the Union with a daily breakdown of tasks performed by all managers hired after the hotel was given notice to bargain, and a daily list of all employees, contractors and subcontractors working in the hotel each day with their respective work assignments. The employer will also be required to provide hotel occupancy information to the Union.
“There is simply no excuse for the employer to be using unlawful replacement workers. PHI Hotel Group has an experienced, professional hotel staff who devoted years of service to this hotel. Instead of breaking the law, the owners should be returning long-term staff to their jobs and negotiating a fair contract so that they can take participate in Richmond’s booming hotel market and provide quality service to guests again,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40.
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