BREAKING: Sheraton Vancouver Airport Violates Labour Law Fifth Time

Richmond’s top convention hotel continues to disregard labour laws in third month of strike

 

Richmond, BC – Yesterday, the BC Labour Relations Board declared that the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel violated the Labour Code by continuing to rebook rooms for guests from the Sheraton to neighbouring Marriot and Hilton Vancouver Airport hotels during the current strike by members of UNITE HERE Local 40. The hotel has also been illegally moving events scheduled to take place at the Sheraton to the other two hotels. The Marriott and Hilton Vancouver Airport hotels are non-union properties operated by the same company as the Sheraton, Larco Hospitality. This is the fifth time the company has acted in violation of labour laws since the strike began on June 14.

On July 17, The Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel received a cease and desist order from the Vice Chair of the Labour Board for wrongfully rebooking flight crews and distressed airline passengers from the Sheraton to its sister hotels. Now in the third month of the labour dispute, Larco Hospitality continues to move guests and events to its other properties, disregarding the law in its ongoing attempt the undermine the strike and retain hotel business.

“It is unacceptable that this employer continues to violate the law, while refusing to sit down with our members at the bargaining table and seriously address workers’ concerns in an effort to resolve this dispute. Our Union remains concerned about the ongoing illegal activities by Larco Hospitality in their attempts to undermine our strike action. We are now in our third month on strike for living wages at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel, with workers continuing to picket daily outside the Sheraton, Marriott, and Hilton hotels in Richmond. Our members will not give up their fight until they win the contract they need to support their families in Metro Vancouver,” said Zailda Chan, UNITE HERE Local 40 President.

The BC Federation of Labour has declared a public boycott of the three hotels. Striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport workers continue to picket outside of the Sheraton, Marriott and Hilton Vancouver Airport hotels daily from 7am to 7pm in their fight for living wages from the employer.

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, sharan@unitehere40.com

Striking Vancouver Hotel Workers Send Open Letter to Cunard, Carnival Cruises

For Immediate Release:

Vancouver, Canada — Workers on strike at Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport have written an open letter to cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation and its subsidiary, Cunard. They are urging Carnival and Cunard to stop using their hotel as an embarkment point for Queen Elizabeth passengers for the duration of the strike.

Cunard, a luxury cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation, operates the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner with voyages to Alaska. This summer, Cunard has placed guests at the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport hotel, a 30-minute drive from Vancouver’s cruise terminals. Customers should be informed about the limited staffing due to mass terminations and the ongoing labour dispute. Due to the lack of breakfast options at Radisson Blu, Cunard recently bussed guests from the hotel to a second hotel, Hilton Vancouver Airport, where they crossed a separate picket line.

The 388-room hotel is operating with a skeleton crew due to pandemic terminations of 70% of the unionized staff. Remaining workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, have been on strike for two years. The BC Labour Relations Board has declared through a consent order that Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport violated the labour code by illegally using impermissible replacement workers. The hotel is currently subject to a boycott.

The letter’s full text is included below:

 

August 15, 2023

Josh Weinstein, President & CEO, Carnival Corporation

Paul Ludlow, President, Carnival UK

Katie McAlister, President, Cunard

Re: Cunard, a Carnival Cruise subsidiary, crossing the picket line

Dear Mr. Weinstein, Mr. Ludlow, Ms. McAlister:

This summer, Cunard Line is using the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel for Queen Elizabeth passengers embarking on Alaskan cruises from Vancouver. You may not be aware that 70% of the hotel’s workers were terminated during the pandemic and the remaining Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport workers have been on strike for two years.

We are urging Cunard to stop using the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport for the duration of the 2023 summer season and through 2024, or until the strike has ended.

We took great pride in providing top-notch service to our international guests. We invested decades of service to the hotel, but our employer seemingly took advantage of the pandemic to get rid of 143 of our co-workers, mostly women, instead of recalling them to their jobs as tourism rebounded.

The hotel is currently operating with a skeleton crew; about 90% of the hotel’s housekeeping staff was terminated, as was most of the food and beverage staff. The hotel is not currently offering dining services. The closest restaurant options are 20 minutes away from the property by foot. To serve them breakfast, Cunard recently bussed guests from Radisson Blu to a second hotel, Hilton Vancouver Airport, where hotel workers are picketing in a separate labour dispute.

Why isn’t Cunard putting Queen Elizabeth guests into a fully staffed hotel that treats workers with appropriate decency?

The British Columbia Labour Relations Board recently declared through a consent order that Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport violated the labour code by illegally using replacement workers. We believe that this behaviour contradicts Cunard’s business partner code of conduct and ethics, which sets out an expectation for all business partners “to conduct their activities in a manner that adheres to applicable employment laws and respects human rights.”

The Canadian Labour Congress and the BC Federation of Labour have issued a customer boycott of the hotel, and the local City Council in which the hotel presides passed a resolution to not hold events or any business at the hotel until the employer reaches an agreement with us.

We call upon Cunard to honour their commitment to their guests by providing the full luxury experience they paid for by moving them from the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel to a hotel that isn’t on strike or under a boycott.

Sincerely,

Striking Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Workers

Members of UNITE HERE Local 40

 

To download a copy of the open letter, click here.

Media Contacts: Sharan Pawa, sharan@unitehere40.com, (604) 710-1693; or Michelle Travis, mtravis@unitehere.org, (778) 960-9785.

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For more information, go to BoycottRadissonBluVancouverAirport.org.

UNITE HERE Local 40 is a labour union representing hospitality workers across British Columbia. We are affiliated with UNITE HERE International, which represents 300,000 working people across Canada and the United States.

Crossroads Lodge Hospitality Workers in Kitimat Win Immediate 10% Wage Increase and Groundbreaking Workload Protections

New agreement averts strike and possible disruption to LNG Canada pipeline project

 

Kitimat, BC – Yesterday, hospitality workers at Crossroads Lodge voted 88% in favour to ratify their new collective agreement. The workers – including room attendants, kitchen staff, janitors, and guest service agents – are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

 

In the new one-year contract, workers have won immediate 10% wage increases and groundbreaking workload protections for housekeeping and kitchen staff. Crossroads Lodge houses up to 800 LNG Canada pipeline workers and Kitimat construction workers. The agreement between the Lodge workers and Horizon North, operator of Crossroads Lodge, was reached following mediation and averts a strike at the LNG Canada construction site.

 

Under the new agreement, Crossroads Lodge staff now earn over a living wage and can better support themselves and their families in British Columbia. Workers have also bargained standard-setting workload protections for kitchen staff and housekeepers to combat continued understaffing in the hospitality industry.

 

“My co-workers and I are thrilled about our victory at Crossroads Lodge! We were overworked and underpaid, but now we have a contract that gives us the respect we deserve. We feel like we have a brighter future with the pay increases we received, and the monumental shift in kitchen and housekeeping workloads was much needed – it will help keep these jobs sustainable for us for years to come. I hope our win, as well as the victory at Cedar Valley Lodge in Kitimat, will inspire hospitality workers across the province to stand up for their rights; through the power of collective action, we can win fairness and dignity for all workers,” said Kathy Wallace, a Second Cook who has worked at Crossroads Lodge for four years.

 

UNITE HERE Local 40 represents approximately 1,000 remote camp hospitality workers across BC. This July, Local 40 Sodexo members at nearby Cedar Valley Lodge voted in favour of their new collective agreement which also included substantial pay increases and established workload protections. Local 40 also represents workers at Sitka Lodge in Kitimat, and LNG custodians involved in the energy project.

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, sharan@unitehere40.com

Media Advisory: TODAY – Hospitality Workers to Protest Air Canada at YVR Airport

Hotel workers demand Air Canada respect Richmond picket lines

 

Richmond, BC – TODAY striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers – represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 – will hold a protest outside of the Air Canada gates at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The airline has been sending passengers to the Hilton Vancouver Airport and Marriott Vancouver Airport hotels in Richmond, where picket lines are up.

The Sheraton, Hilton, and Marriott Vancouver Airport hotels in Richmond – operated by Larco Hospitality – form British Columbia’s largest hotel complex. The hotels regularly accommodate large flight crews landing at YVR Airport as well as airline passengers who have experienced flight delays. Sheraton Vancouver Airport workers launched their strike on June 14 in their fight for living wages. Since then, five airlines have withdrawn their business from the hotel complex in solidarity with the striking workers – WestJet, Porter Airlines, UPS, American Airlines, and Japan Airlines.

Last week, the BC Labour Board deemed the three hotels a common site and is permitting striking workers to picket the perimeter of the hotels. The extended picket line runs from 7am-7pm daily and affects guests staying at the non-union Hilton and Marriott hotels. Despite this, Air Canada continues to send flight passengers over the picket line to the two hotels.

The BC Federation of Labour has declared a public boycott of the Sheraton, Hilton, and Marriott Vancouver Airport hotels. The BCFED boycott in Richmond extends to an unrelated hotel, Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport, where workers are also on strike.

 

WHEN: TODAY – August 4 at 10:00 AM

WHO: Striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers

WHERE: Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Air Canada Gates

VISUALS: Hotel workers chanting, marching, and speaking with colourful banners, signs, and bullhorns.

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, sharan@unitehere40.com

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Media Advisory: Crossroads Lodge Labour Dispute Update

Kitimat, BC – Workers at Crossroads Lodge – represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 – and the Employer are currently in negotiations. Workers have voted in favour of strike action, but no action will take place until our negotiation process is concluded.

Crossroads Lodge staff are seeking an equal wage increase to Building Trades workers at the LNG Canada camp, who received a 12% raise last year, and calling for stronger workload protections. The collective agreement expired on May 10.

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, sharan@unitehere40.com