Striking Vancouver Hotel Workers’ Rally
On October 24 more than a hundred hotel workers and their supporters participated in a loud and militant rally outside the Hotel Belmont in downtown Vancouver in support of workers at the hotel who have come forward with complaints of on-the-job sexual harassment. The Belmont is owned by Pacific Reach Properties, which also owns the Rosewood Hotel Georgia where 200 workers — members of UNITE HERE Local 40 — have been on strike for over one month to back their demands for improved wages, job security and improved working conditions including a guaranteed end to sexual harassment and on-the-job assaults.
For over an hour participants marched in front of the hotel and around one side constantly shouting slogans such as “What Do We Want? Respect! When Do We Want It? Now!” and “No Justice. No Peace!” Numerous drummers kept up a steady beat. Horns sounded and pots were banged. A huge banner reading “Rosewood: No Sense of Shame” was draped along the street. Banners and flags of a number of unions were present, including the BC Teachers’ Federation, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and BC Government and Service Employees’ Union.
UNITE HERE Local 40 President Zailda Chan thanked everyone and declared, “We’ll be back” unless the workers’ just demands are met.