“Where’s our Recovery?” Sheraton Vancouver Airport Workers Launch Strike

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  • Vancouver area hotels are booming; now it is workers’ turn to recover.

    Vancouver, BC UNITE HERE Local 40 members at Sheraton Vancouver Airport, a popular
    convention hotel, walked off the job at 7AM this morning and onto the picket line. Sheraton
    Airport workers including room attendants, banquet servers, front desk agents, and food
    service workers who served on the front lines throughout the pandemic say their wages are
    not enough to afford to live in Metro Vancouver.

    Sheraton Airport workers welcome the world to Vancouver, but they cannot afford to live here;
    most of the hotel staff earn less than the Metro Vancouver living wage of $24.08 per hour. The
    hotel’s room rates are selling for as much as $400 a night or more. Room revenues for
    Vancouver airport hotels increased 32% on average this year over the same period in 2019.

    “I’m angry that I’ve worked at this hotel for 6 years, but I’m only making 20 cents over
    minimum wage. Inflation continues to rise, and we need living wages now so we can provide for
    ourselves and our families in Metro Vancouver we deserve to live in the city where we work!
    Our hotel is always busy and making money, yet we are getting left behind,” said Felisha Perry,
    banquet server.

    In a recent survey of local hotel workers conducted by the union, 46% of respondents have had
    to forgo fresh food to keep up with the rising cost of living in Metro Vancouver. 89% of hotel
    workers surveyed said they have had to give something up to afford their cost of living, such as
    family support or medical care.

    A majority of Sheraton Airport workers are women and immigrants. Many struggled during the
    pandemic to make ends meet and are working more than one job to pay the bills. They are
    seeking wage increases that are comparable to other highend convention hotels, banquet
    gratuity transparency to ensure tips are correctly distributed, and a guarantee that guest rooms
    will be cleaned daily.


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