Workers at four downtown Vancouver hotels hold lunchtime strike

Unite Here Local 40 workers at the Hyatt Regency, Hotel Georgia, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront hotels are without contracts

Workers at Hyatt Regency, Hotel Georgia, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront hotels held a noon-hour picket line Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency to highlight frustration at being without a collective agreement for up to 14 months.

And strike action could escalate and hit Vancouver's tourism sector.

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Following today's first strike action, the workers went back to work.

Workers at the Hyatt Regency, Pinnacle Hotel Harbourside and Westin Bayshore are in one bargaining collective, and they have been without a contract since mid-2018.

Workers at the Hotel Georgia saw their contract expire at the end of December 2018. Workers at the Four Seasons Hotel are also in the same union, Unite Here Local 40, and are without a contract but they are not planning to strike because their hotel is set to close permanently in January 2020.

About 1,500 workers at the hotels voted 89 per cent in August to potentially strike, according to the union.

Workers at the Hotel Georgia announced potential strike notice in August and workers at the Hyatt followed that up on Sept. 9. Workers at the other hotels issued potential strike notice later last week.

Conference organizers for the Rail-Volution Conference, which took place at the Hyatt on Sept. 9 through 11, kept attendees updated on possible disruptions even though no strike action could have been possible at their hotel until the day following their conference.

Events such as the Sept. 16 International Cannabis Business Conference went off without a hitch at the Westin Bayshore.

Bargaining is ongoing for workers at the Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Hotel Harbourside, with talks expected to go on into tonight.

No bargaining is taking place for workers at the Hotel Georgia. Those workers, however, are the only ones who have threatened a full walk-out.

"This action we're hoping will wake them up to the fact that the workers are not going to accept a contract that they do not think is fair," union spokesperson Sharan Pawa told Business in Vancouver.

"If the workers do not receive a fair proposal in bargaining, there may be more strike actions taking place."


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