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Richmond hotel caught scabbing over a dozen times

Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport will have to undergo random inspections
The Radisson Blu (formerly Pacific Gateway) illegally used replacement workers during a strike

A Richmond hotel where unionized staff have been on strike for more than two years will now have to undergo random inspections after being caught using scabs.

Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel on Cessna Drive, formerly known as Pacific Gateway, was slapped with two orders finding it in breach of labour laws last week.

The B.C. Labour Relations Board issued the consent orders on Sept. 19 and 21 after the hotel admitted to using impermissible replacement workers for tasks including conducting fire rounds, setting up guest rooms and using new managers to backfill for senior managers and perform bargaining unit work.

According to UNITE Here Local 40, the union representing workers on strike, the Labour Relations Board has now ordered a special investigating officer to conduct random inspections at the hotel.

The hotel was also ordered to cease and desist from using scabs to perform union work, provide the union with advance notice of contractors working on rooms available for rental, and disclose and explain any tasks that will be performed.

The orders follow a previous consent order for the hotel’s illegal use of scabs issued in July, said the union.

Workers at Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport walked off the job more than two years ago after 143 workers were laid off during the pandemic.

Last month, the Labour Relations Board rejected the hotel’s attempt to ban workers from picketing on its premises.

The hotel is an affiliate of Surrey-based PHI Hotel Group.

PHI Hotel Group and director Sukhminder Rai are currently being sued for allegedly misappropriating more than $15 million of federal funds in relation to another hotel — the Westin Calgary Airport hotel.

According to court documents, part owners of the hotel are claiming at least $15,690,703.23 of funds from the Public Health Agency of Canada did not reach the hotel.

Rai had allegedly told other owners of the Westin Calgary that the hotel would only receive payment for 100 guest rooms while acting as a quarantine hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic, but had in fact negotiated payment for all 247 guest rooms.

The part owners claim Rai then kept the revenue from 147 guest rooms.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.