BC Federation of Labour calls for boycott of 4 Vancouver hotels as strikes continue

The BC Federation of Labour (BCFED) is calling for a boycott of four Vancouver downtown hotels in support of striking workers.

The fed's boycott request includes the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront and the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. It follows a walkout by 1,200 workers three weeks ago after more than a year of failed negotiations. 

BCFED president Laird Cronk says all affiliated unions have already cancelled all bookings or events being held at any of the hotels. 

"This would cover 500,000 workers who belong to affiliated unions of the Federation of Labour who will not be doing business with these hotels during the dispute," said Cronk.

The federation is also asking for the public's support, to help put pressure on the hotels to ensure a deal is reached, Cronk said.  

'An incredible and strong message'

Zailda Chan, the president of the union representing the workers, says the federation's support boosts its ability to keep fighting. 

"Withdrawing their business sends an incredible and strong message to the hotels that this will continue, and this fight will intensify unless we reach a deal today," said the Unite Here Local 40 president. 

Maggie MacPherson/CBC

Workers including room attendants, chefs and front-desk agents, are striking over issues related to safety, workload and job security. 

"I hope that the hotels can hear our message loud and clear," Chan added. 

Hyatt's vice-president of labour relations for the Americas, Michael D'Angelo, said in a written statement that the hotels are disappointed by BCFED's actions.

D'Angelo said the hotels "remain committed to reaching a fair agreement that benefits our colleagues. However, we cannot end the strike or reach an agreement until Unite Here agrees to meet with us in good faith at the negotiation table."

He said the hotels have proposed a 15-per-cent pay increase over four years, which he described as "unprecedented for hospitality workers in Vancouver."