BC Federation of Labour issues boycott call on four luxury hotels in Vancouver

October 9, 2019 | News Release

Vancouver BC - BC’s labour movement is calling on the public to boycott the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront, and Rosewood Hotel Georgia in support of striking workers.

The BC Federation of Labour (BCFED) represents nearly fifty affiliated unions with some 500,000 members across the province and is asking its members and the broader public not to cross picket lines or do business with the four hotels, either in person or on-line.

“Our affiliated unions are cancelling bookings and avoiding future events with these hotels. We encourage other organizations and individuals to do the same for the duration of the dispute,” said Laird Cronk, president of the BCFED. “Working together, we can exert real pressure and send a strong message that these workers deserve a fair contract.”

The strike on the profitable downtown hotels is into its third week, as UNITE HERE Local 40 members picket for fair wages, basic job security and safety reforms to prevent injury and address ongoing sexual harassment being experienced by many female workers.

“We have received an outpouring of support from the BCFED and its affiliated unions – many of whom are long-term customers of these hotels,” said Robert Demand, executive director, UNITE HERE Local 40. “This boycott sends a powerful message to the developers and big corporations who own and operate these high-end hotels. Without us, hotel rooms cannot be cleaned, there are no banquets and their bars and restaurants are closed.”

The boycott comes at a pivotal moment for the City of Vancouver as the affordability crisis grows. The striking hotel workers—many of them new Canadians and women of colour—are on the frontlines of a broader fight against precarious work and economic insecurity.

“What message are these profitable hotels sending when workers are forced to take job action to ensure stable jobs, fair wages and safe working conditions?” asked Cronk. “If you care about the growing inequality in this city, help these workers by supporting the boycott and taking your business elsewhere.”

Media availability:
BCFED President Laird Cronk and UNITE HERE Local 40 President Zailda Chan will host a press conference on the picket line today, Wednesday, October 9, at 10:00 am (PST), outside of the Hyatt Regency, at 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver.

Background on boycott:
On October 3rd, officers of the BC Federation of Labour voted “to declare a public boycott on the four struck hotels, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront and the Westin Bayshore Vancouver, for the duration of the labour dispute.”

The boycott follows reports of hotel guests booking their stays online without knowledge of the active strikes. The declaration allows the BCFED and its affiliates to distribute the boycott notice across the Canadian labour movement and to communicate directly with union members and the public to encourage them to boycott the hotels.

Media contact:
Jonathan Sas
Communications Director at the BCFED
P: 604-861-4321 | E: media@bcfed.ca

Sharan Pawa
Communications, UNITE HERE Local 40
P: 604-725-0053 | E: spawa@local40union.com