For immediate release
October 17, 2019
SPawa [at] Local40Union [dot] com
Strike Continues at Hotel Georgia
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – 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, the contracts pioneer new standards around workplace safety, sexual harassment, and job security.
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 these new contracts 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.