A majority of Hotel Georgia employees including room attendants, front desk agents, servers and cooks at the high-end Vancouver hotel, represented by Unite Here, Local 40, voted in favour of authorizing a strike action on Aug. 7.
The Hotel Georgia holds itself to a high standard while failing to address serious workplace issues faced by staff. Frustrated with working conditions that do not meet the standard, employees are prepared to take action for better hospitality jobs, says the union.
“We are industry-leading in service and quality. We want to be an industry leader in job satisfaction and safety,” says James Sugden, a cook at the Hotel Georgia.
Hotel Georgia workers want industry-setting wages and job standards commensurate to the elevated level of service they are expected to provide on a day-to-day basis to the hotel’s wealthy and well-known clientele, says the union.
Workers are also seeking better protection from discrimination and sexual harassment, as several women have recently come forward with sexual harassment complaints, says Unite Here.
Some employees report the need to work second or third jobs to make ends meet and the need for expanded access to medical benefits. Other issues include lack of supplies needed to perform work and disrespectful treatment by management, says the union.
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