Press Release: Richmond hotel strikers injured, narrowly avoiding shuttle van crash

Richmond, BC – Striking Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel workers suffered injuries when they narrowly escaped being run over by a shuttle driver who suddenly drove through the bushes behind the hotel and crashed into two other vehicles yesterday afternoon.

An Ace Charters Vancouver shuttle van, which was parked in the employee parking lot of the Radisson Blu hotel at the time, lurched suddenly through the bushes behind the hotel, crashed into a second vehicle, and careened forward across Lysander Lane until it hit a third car parked at a nearby charging station.

Three female hotel room attendants who are on strike at Radisson Blu were walking along the sidewalk of Lysander Lane when they heard a noise and saw the vehicles coming toward them.  They ran to avoid being struck but suffered injuries.  One of the strikers fell to the ground to avoid the oncoming vehicles. A second woman was injured when one of the vehicles grazed her ankle.  The two women went to hospital for examination; the third woman was unharmed. The RCMP and an ambulance were called to the scene.

“We heard a loud noise and saw a car coming from the bushes. We ran as fast as we could.  A big black car came toward me, and the tire hit my ankle. It was so scary, we didn’t know what to do,” said Vent Reddy, a striking room attendant who has worked at the hotel for over forty years.

“What happened here was reckless and put workers’ lives at risk.  Why is Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport allowing Ace Charters to park their vehicles in the hotel employees’ parking area during a strike?  Ace Charters could have killed someone.  They should no longer be allowed to operate out of the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40.

Last month, the BC Labour Board issued a cease and desist order against the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport’s majority owner for threatening and intimidating strikers on the picket line. The hotel has repeatedly breached the labour code by using impermissible replacement workers. The workers have been on strike for three years.

 

Contact: Michelle Travis, mtravis@unitehere.org, 778-960-9875