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,

Media Advisory – TODAY: Striking Hotel Workers to Rally at Larco-Owned Bridge Studios in Burnaby

Strikers and allies call on Larco to pay their hospitality workers a living wage after nine months on strike


Burnaby, BC — TODAY, Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers, alongside community allies, will be rallying at Bridge Studios in Burnaby. Bridge Studios and the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel share the same parent company, Larco. The Bridge Studios franchise is an integral part of the Lower Mainland’s highly lucrative film industry and is a job creator in Burnaby with a growing footprint in the city. The company is currently constructing what is set to be Canada’s largest film and TV studio upon completion at Lake City Way. Unionized productions take place at the studio with members from IATSE, Teamsters, ICG, DGC, and ACTRA.


Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers, many who reside in Burnaby, walked off the job in June last year in their fight for pay increases that will bring them to Metro Vancouver’s living wage of $25.68 per hour. Recently, on behalf of Burnaby City Council, Mayor of Burnaby Mike Hurley sent a letter to the owner of Bridge Studios and the Sheraton Vancouver Airport urging the company to reach a fair settlement with striking staff from the hotel.


Rally Details

When: TODAY, Thursday, March 21

Where: 2400 Boundary Road, Burnaby

Time: 1PM


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

Press Release: BREAKING – YVR Airport Food Service Workers Vote Overwhelmingly in Favour of Strike Action

Possible airport disruptions during spring break and easter weekend travel rush

Richmond, BC – Food service workers at YVR Vancouver International Airport voted 85% in favour of strike action yesterday. The workers – represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 – are employed by one of YVR’s largest food service operators, SSP Canada Food Services. After months of bargaining, over 200 low-paid SSP workers could walk off the job in their fight to earn Metro Vancouver’s living wage.

The workers serve travelers at dozens of food outlets located in the airport’s domestic and international terminals. Job actions would disrupt daily airport operations as the spring break and Easter weekend rush approaches, with over 1.1 million passengers projected to travel through YVR Airport in the next few weeks.

Recent Union data shows the average food service wage at the world-class airport to be only $18.27 – well below Metro Vancouver’s living wage of $25.68. Meanwhile, YVR Airport generated $492 million in 2022 and is on track to exceed that figure in 2023. In a survey of YVR food service workers conducted last month by the Union, 89% are struggling to keep up with bills or housing costs. 92% of these workers have had to cut back on other expenses to get by each month including nearly 40% stating they are buying less fresh food, and 52% who are not able to support family members as they have previously.

Of the workers at YVR Airport who do not earn a living wage, 78% of those surveyed are women, and most are immigrants. A large majority of SSP food service workers are racialized women. SSP food service worker demographics are in stark contrast to YVR’s own staff, who earn a living wage and are majority male, 65% white.

In addition to standing united for a living wage, the workers are fighting to have their transit reimbursement program reinstated by SSP. This program covers Uber and taxi rides for all SSP food service staff who work outside of SkyTrain hours. Currently, the workers are expected to spend hundreds of dollars on ride costs each month in order to work their scheduled shifts at the airport.

With this strike vote, food service workers send a strong message: end wage discrimination at YVR. Picket lines could go up after workers issue 72-hour strike notice.


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

Press Release: Mayor of Burnaby Urges Larco Hospitality to Reach Fair Settlement with Striking Hotel Workers

City of Burnaby pressures Sheraton Vancouver Airport owner to provide fair pay for workers, now in eighth month on strike for living wages


Burnaby, BC — Mayor of Burnaby, Mike Hurley, on behalf of Burnaby City Council, sent a letter to Larco Hospitality urging the employer to reach a fair settlement with staff at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel. This followed a delegation of striking Sheraton workers – members of UNITE HERE Local 40 – appearing before Council on February 12.

Hundreds of workers at the Sheraton walked off the job eight months ago in their fight for a living wage from the hotel. In the letter, the Mayor expresses Council’s support for workers and states “Hotel and hospitality staff deserve a contract that fairly compensates them for their work and one that reflects the reality of the increased cost of living in Metro Vancouver in 2024.” The workers, many who reside in Burnaby, are fighting for pay increases that will bring them to Metro Vancouver’s current living wage of $25.68 per hour.

“We thank Burnaby Council for their solidarity with us as we continue in our fight for living wages,” said Shaelyn Arnould, striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel worker and Burnaby resident. “In 2021, the City of Burnaby supported our locked-out Hilton Metrotown members by not spending any city money at the hotel until a fair contract was reached. Their support was pivotal for hotel workers, and again Burnaby Council has shown they support the continuation of good, family-supporting hotel jobs.”

Larco owns the Sheraton, Hilton, and Marriott Vancouver Airport hotels – making up the largest hotel complex in BC – as well as a series of movie studios under the banner Bridge Studios in Burnaby. Bridge Studios is a job creator in Burnaby with a major footprint in the city; Bridge Studios has properties on Boundary Way and Griffiths Drive, as well as an additional studio in development on Lake City Way.

“By sending a letter to Larco in support of the strikers, the City of Burnaby is demonstrating their commitment to fair wages for workers in Burnaby and across our province. Our strike is about earning enough to live, and we will continue in our fight until Larco treats hospitality workers with the respect we deserve,” said Shaelyn Arnould.


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

Job Posting: Social Justice Union Organizer (Vancouver)

UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s union for hospitality workers, is seeking a Social Justice Union Organizer to recruit, train and mobilize workers to win strong workplace standards. We are committed to developing rank-and-file leadership, organizing the unorganized, and to building a strong, fighting labour union.

Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to working for social justice through a strong a labour movement. The successful applicant we are looking for is driven, courageous, open to feedback, hard working, and a fighter with a deep commitment to social change. The position entails irregular hours including work in the evenings and weekends.


Job Duties:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to move workers to take collective action and build power.
  • Identify and meet with worker leaders to recruit and train them as union leaders for their particular workplace campaign, in union and non-union settings.
  • Promote rank and file leadership development.
  • Identify workplace issues, learn the relevant collective agreement language, and pursue resolution through the grievance and arbitration procedures.
  • Plan, develop, implement, and evaluate union recruitment strategies including policies, programs, and procedures.
  • Develop and establish member training material and sessions.
  • Organize and participate in meetings and demonstrations.
  • Frequently attend multiple distant locations within a short time span in order to meet with workers at their homes and other sites. Many of these locations will not be easily accessible by public transit.
  • Must have a valid drivers’ license.


Job Requirements:

1 year of experience as a labour/union organizer, rank and file union activist, and/or experience working with the student, immigrant, LGBTQ+, and/or environmental activist communities.



Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume outlining relevant experience and including references to Only candidates meeting all requirements will be contacted for interviews.