MEDIA ADVISORY: Rosewood Hotel Georgia strike enters eighth week as holiday season approaches, Strikers hold mass-action today before negotiations resume Friday

What: Hotel workers from Rosewood Hotel Georgia to hold demonstration to mark eighth week on strike.

When: Thursday, November 14, 2019, 5pm

Where: Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Who: UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel members on strike at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, joined in solidarity by hundreds of former striking hotel workers and the Vancouver community.

Note: Frontline UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel workers on strike will be available for interview in person at the action or in advance by phone. To connect with strikers in advance or at the action, contact Sharan.

WHY: As the Hotel Georgia strike enters its eighth week – the longest of its kind in Vancouver’s history – negotiations with hotel management will resume this Friday on the heels of a cease and desist order by the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB) in which Rosewood management was found to have committed multiple breaches of provincial labour law. The LRB issued a cease and desist order against the hotel on October 28.

Strikers recently travelled to Silicon Valley and Hong Kong to lead actions at other Rosewood Hotel locations. International unions and trade federations from around the globe, from California to Myanmar, have recently led delegations in support of the strikers.

B.C.’s performers union, UBCP/ACTRA, and US-based entertainment union SAG-AFTRA have issued notices to performers and production managers to respect the picket line at Rosewood Hotel Georgia and to immediately remove business from the hotel until a settlement is reached.

In September, over 1,200 Vancouver hotel workers went on strike at four high-end hotels in Canada’s most profitable hotel industry. Last month, three of the four hotels agreed to ground-breaking new contracts. Two hundred Rosewood Hotel Georgia workers remain on strike for a contract which matches the five-star service they provide to clientele of this iconic Vancouver hotel. In addition to the demand for fair wages and stable jobs, the hotel has been under scrutiny over its handling of sexual harassment concerns in recent months.

Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, [email protected]

Press Release: BREAKING: Rosewood Hotel Georgia Breaches Labour Laws in Attempts to Undermine Hotel Strike

Vancouver – The BC Labour Board ruled this week that the Rosewood Hotel Georgia committed multiple breaches of the province’s labour law and that the Hotel’s use of impermissible replacement workers undermined the ongoing strike of their employees. The strike is now in its sixth week.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia was found in breach of the anti-scab provisions of the Labour Code by using impermissible managers to do the work that would normally be done by the striking employees. The Board has issued a cease and desist order against the Rosewood which has been filed in court for enforcement.

Instead of sitting down and addressing the concerns of their employees that would resolve the historic strike, Rosewood Hotel Georgia instead repeatedly used unauthorized tactics in unsuccessful attempts to mitigate the impact of the strike on services inside the hotel, that are completely shut down without workers. In addition, both the Fairmont Pacific Rim and Shangri-La hotels acknowledged that the Hotel Georgia had reached out to them and that they had accommodated hotel reservations from guests leaving Hotel Georgia. Pursuant to a consent order the hotels will not offer further assistance to the Hotel Georgia during the strike and will not oppose the union seeking to picket at the hotels if they are found to be allies of the Hotel Georgia in the future. Hundreds of Rosewood Hotel Georgia workers remain on strike for a contract which provides a five-star standard for workplace safety including sexual harassment protections, economic and job security improvements in Vancouver.

“Our members at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia work hard on a daily basis to provide the five-star service the hotel is known for. They are fighting for better working conditions now, a brighter future at this hotel, and are demanding respect long-overdue at the Rosewood. Hotel management has broken off negotiations twice, and is refusing to meet with staff at the bargaining table to address their concerns. Instead of resolving this labour dispute, management is doing the work of our members, undermining the strike and attempting to run the hotel without us. We will remain on strike until the Rosewood Hotel Georgia starts behaving like a five-star hotel and acts as a responsible employer,” said Zailda Chan, UNITE HERE Local 40 President.

The Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront hotels reached agreements to settle their strikes on October 16 with contracts that set new standards on compensation, workplace safety and job protection for hotel workers that will transform the lives of their employees. Despite this, Canada’s top-rated hotel has now become an outlier and is the only hotel still under strike. UNITE HERE Local 40 urges the hotel to return the bargaining table immediately and respect their workers whose five-star service has no substitute, illegal or otherwise.

 

Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, [email protected]

Media Advisory: BREAKING: Negotiations with Hotel Georgia break down again, striking Hotel Georgia workers to confront Pacific Reach Properties demanding a return to the table

What: Hotel workers rally

When: Thursday, October 24, 2019, 5pm

Where: Hotel Belmont, 654 Nelson Street, Vancouver

Who: UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel workers on strike at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, joined in solidarity by former striking workers and the Vancouver community

WHY: Yesterday, in the fifth week of the strike, negotiations with Rosewood Hotel Georgia broke down for a second time, with the company refusing to continue bargaining and address staff concerns. Rosewood Hotel Georgia workers have been on strike for over a month, and Hotel Georgia is the only luxury hotel in Vancouver still under strike after three others agreed to contract demands that ended the strike at their properties more than a week ago. Join workers as they demand management return to the table and settle a contract which provides a five-star standard for economic, workplace safety and job security improvements in Vancouver.

The Rosewood Hotel Georgia and the Hotel Belmont have both come under media scrutiny recently for sexual harassment. Hotel Georgia workers walked off the job in part over Pacific Reach Properties’ dangerous working conditions for women which put them at risk for injury and assault at the Hotel Georgia. A recent survey and human rights complaint exposed the sexual harassment issues prevalent for staff at the five-star hotel. Despite this, Canada’s top-rated hotel is the only hotel still under strike – refusing to meet and negotiate with their 200 striking employees.

Last month, female staff from the Hotel Belmont filed human rights complaints against Pacific Reach Properties. Their accounts detail experiences of harassment and assault including management refusing to take action to remove guests who sexually harass and intimidate female workers. As more women continue to speak out about the practices of hotels owned by Pacific Reach Properties, the group has yet to settle a contract that would keep women safe at Hotel Georgia, or to offer any meaningful sexual harassment protections to the non-union Belmont Hotel workers.

Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, [email protected]

Press Release: Vancouver Hotel Strikers Celebrate Historic Raises of up to 25% at Multiple Downtown Hotels, Strike Continues at Hotel Georgia

Vancouver – As of 6:00pm on October 16, 2019, UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel workers on strike at the Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore, and Pinnacle Harbourfront voted to ratify a historic new contract for those properties as well as at the Four Seasons, with industry leading gains including raises of up to 25%. In addition, new standards around workplace safety, sexual harassment, and job security have been pioneered in the new contracts.

 

The ratification of these contracts ends a 28 day strike of three major downtown Vancouver properties, yet the strike continues at Hotel Georgia. In addition to establishing industry transforming wage standards, the new contracts include innovative sexual harassment protections, workload reductions, and improvements in benefits and job security for restaurant and kitchen staff. The vote to approve this new contract ends the picket lines outside and boycotts of Hyatt, Westin and Pinnacle hotels, with workers at these properties proudly returning to work today.

 

“Our members are key to the success of these luxury hotels, and they chose the sacrifice of striking in order to win improved working conditions, respect and a real future in this industry,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40. “This is the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades , and I’m deeply moved by the courage and vision of our members in taking on this fight. With this contract we have achieved a new standard in the hospitality industry which will improve the lives of not only our own members and their families, but the lives of all hotel workers in Vancouver. This strike has sent a strong message to the industry, not to underestimate the power of working people. We will now turn the momentum of this historic victory to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where our strikers have been without a contract for ten months and management has failed to offer acceptable working conditions, wages, or security.”

 

“Our new contract is proof to me that Vancouver is our city!” said Nassa Chantacheevakul, banquet server at Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel. “As a millennial worker in Metro Vancouver, this contract will make the difference for me between struggling to make rent each month to being able to truly build a life here. I’m proud of what my coworkers and I won – we picketed, we rallied, we made ourselves heard, and we took care of each other during the 28 days of this strike. Not a single Vancouver hotel worker crossed the picket lines, and we proved what can be achieved in a union! We won raises higher than our bosses said we ever could. I look forward to going back to work and back to serving my guests!”

 

Almost two hundred hotel workers remain on strike at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. UNITE HERE Local 40 calls on Hotel Georgia to settle this strike.

 

Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, [email protected]

Media Advisory: Tentative Agreement Reached with Westin Bayshore, Hyatt Regency, Pinnacle Harbourfront and Four Seasons hotels!

ANNOUCEMENT

Early this morning, a tentative agreement was reached between UNITE HERE Local 40 and the Westin Bayshore, Hyatt Regency, Pinnacle Harbourfront and Four Seasons hotels, representing approximately 1,500 downtown Vancouver hotel workers.

This ground-breaking agreement secures significant wage increases for hotel staff over a four-year period, implements protections against sexual harassment, strengthens job security for room attendants and kitchen and restaurant workers, and maintains health insurance.

“Our strike has made the changes we need in the hotel industry! I’m very happy about the workload reductions for room attendants. The job security we’ve won is also great for our members, our families and will keep our union strong. I’m very proud of our members, we’ve picketed through rain and cold weather for this fight, and we feel united and strong with this tentative agreement reached.” – Teresita Gonzales, Room Attendant Supervisor, Pinnacle Habourfront hotel

No agreement has been reached yet with the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where the strike continues.

Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, [email protected]