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Luxury hotel workers in Vancouver vote to strike

Last Updated Aug 24, 2019 at 7:11 pm PDT

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Workers at several local luxury hotels say they are ready to walk off the job to press for better pay and better support for their sexual harassment complaints.

This week, workers from the Hyatt, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle voted 89% in favour of taking strike action. Strike notice has not been issued.

“The hotels have failed to bargain a contract for staff with livable wages and enough hours to create jobs that can sustain a family in Vancouver, Richmond, Coquitlam or Surrey,” says a statement released by Unite Here Local 40. “Safety is also a top concern as heavy workloads commonly cause injuries to workers, and several women have recently come forward about sexual harassment and assault faced on the job. Workers at the hotels, most of whom have been without a new contract for over a year, are frustrated with their current working conditions and are prepared to act to achieve changes for a better life.”

On Thursday, the Georgia Hotel responded to a separate vote in favour of a strike by workers by issuing a lockout notice.

“A lockout would be unprecedented at Canada’s #1 hotel and comes on the heels of a human rights complaint filed against the hotel earlier this month; certain female staff who filed the complaint are seeking protection for workers from sexual harassment and assault by hotel guests,” says the statement.

Those human rights complaints were filed on August 7, the exact same day workers at the Hotel Georgia voted to go on strike.