Press Release – TODAY: Larco Hotel Boycott Spreads to Las Vegas

U.S. labour allies launch boycott, demand Larco pay Sheraton Vancouver Airport strikers a living wage after nine months on strike


Las Vegas, Nevada – TODAY the Culinary Union and UNITE HERE will rally in solidarity with striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers, now on strike for nine months in their fight for a living wage. Representing thousands of workers across many industries, these influential labour organizations are calling for a boycott of Rampart Casino at the JW Marriott Resort in Vegas. Rampart Casino is owned by the Lalji family, who also owns Larco Hospitality – operator of the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel. The Hilton and Marriott Vancouver hotels beside the Sheraton are also operated by Larco Hospitality and behind the picket line, as the BC Labour Board has allowed Sheraton strikers to picket the entire hotel complex.


UNITE HERE represents 300,000 working people across Canada and the United States, including those in British Columbia represented by UNITE HERE Local 40. UNITE HERE members work in a range of industries – including the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries – and are predominantly women and people of color. The Culinary Union continues to raise standards for thousands of Nevada hospitality workers and their families through improved wages and benefits. The Culinary Union’s 60,000 members work as guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bakers, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, and laundry and kitchen workers.  


“For decades the Culinary Union has fought and won higher standards in the Las Vegas hospitality industry, from the Strip to Downtown to the Locals Market. Our union has a long history of protecting and advancing these standards through organizing, bargaining, strikes, and boycotts,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “We are concerned that a Lalji family business is engaged in a labor dispute in Vancouver totally at odds with these standards and we fully support the strikers of UNITE HERE Local 40 in their fight for a living wage. We also need to know why a deceased Mr. Shirazalli Jafferali Lalji was listed as having a gaming license for almost four years after his death? And why is a deceased Mr. Lalji still, as of March 26, reported on the Nevada Gaming Control Board location details report as active within the Rampart Casino ownership structure?”


“The Sheraton Vancouver Airport is owned by the Lalji family – one of the 20 wealthiest families in Canada. Yet a majority of hotel staff are women and immigrants who are not paid fairly; some of my co-workers have worked at our hotel for over 30 years, but they still don’t earn Metro Vancouver’s living wage of $25.68,” said Shaelyn Arnould, striking Starbucks food service worker at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport for five years. “Negotiations with the hotel broke off in December, and although we have told them we’re ready to continue talking to resolve this dispute, we still have no future bargaining dates set with them. They continue to disrespect their workers and the bargaining process, as we stand up for our rights and better jobs.”


The rally and a press conference will be held today in Las Vegas near the JW Marriott Resort.


Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693,