Fourth downtown Vancouver hotel joins “indefinite strike”

Sep 23 2019, 12:32 pm

Nearly 200 Rosewood Hotel Georgia employees walked off the job on Sunday, demanding safer working conditions, after negotiations with the hotel broke down.

UNITE HERE Local 40, the union that represents BC’s hospitality workers said in a statement that Hotel Georgia employees have been “without a contract for eight months.”

“The workers are demanding respect and working conditions which match the five-star service they provide on a daily basis to the hotel’s clientele.”

In June, nearly 300 people protested against the hotel’s working conditions, including how the hotel’s owner — Pacific Reach Properties — handled harassment experienced by women on the job.

In August, some female staff filed a human rights complaint against the hotel, seeking protection for workers from sexual harassment and assault by hotel guests.

In a statement sent to Daily Hive, a spokesperson from Rosewood Hotel Georgia says it has “demonstrated serious commitment to achieving a fair and reasonable collective agreement that protects the rights and improves the wages and working conditions of employees” throughout the collective bargaining process.

The hotel says it has proposed “industry-leading changes” including “extended scope” for the use of panic buttons to include employees in food and beverage outlets and in-room dining and housekeeping as well as the creation of a safety representative position to investigate discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Hotel Georgia is the fourth downtown hotel to join what UNITE HERE Local 40 calls an “indefinite strike.”

Last week, Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore, and Pinnacle Harbourfront hotels walked off the job.

According to the union, the strike is an “escalation” in a dispute which the union says began 14 months ago and relates primarily to the failure “to address significant outstanding issues related to workload, safety, and job security.”

The strike action by the workers – which includes room attendants, chefs, front desk agents and other staff – is the first in almost two decades, the union said.