Nearly 300 people gathered at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver on Thursday to protest against the hotel’s working conditions that employees say “do not meet its five-star standard.”
According to UNITE HERE Local 40 –BC’s union for hotel and hospitality workers– employees at the top-ranked Canadian hotel want “industry-settings wages and job standards commensurate to the elevated level of service they are expected to provide.”
“Some staff report the need to work second or third jobs to make ends meet and the need for expanded access to medical benefits. Other issues include the lack of supplies needed to perform their work and additional concerns about safety,” said the union, in a release.
Hotel room attendants, cooks, servers, and stewards represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 were joined by other Vancouver hotel workers and community and labour supporters at the protest.
Demonstrators called on the Hotel Georgia’s owner — Pacific Reach Properties — to “raise the bar when it comes to the treatment of workers, especially women, in their hotel and restaurant establishments.”
UNITE HERE Local 40 says that after Pacific Reach Properties bought the Hotel Georiga in 2017, several female staff have “reported concerns about how the company handles harassment experienced by women on the job.”
The union says it reached an agreement with Rosewood Hotels who committed to “address concerns about discrimination and harassment in an effort to improve the working environment.”
The union continues to be in contract bargaining with the company to ensure that better safety standards — such as panic buttons and bans on guests who sexually harass staff — are fulfilled.