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Airport hotel workers in Richmond issue strike notice

The Sheraton Airport Hotel employees could have a picket line up by Monday
Sheraton Vancouver Airport workers could have a picket line up on Monday

Workers at one of Richmond’s busiest airport hotels have issued a 72-hour strike notice.

Employees with Unite Here Local 40 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport, on Westminster Highway, will be in a legal strike position as of Monday afternoon.

This comes after 88 per cent of the hotel’s staff – including housekeepers, banquet servers, front desk agents and the hotel’s Starbucks food service workers - voted in favour of strike on May 20.

According to the union, most staff at the hotel earn less than Vancouver’s living wage of $24.08 an hour.

“The Sheraton YVR workers are seeking similar compensation for their service and dedication to the hotel’s success,” said the union in a press release.

“Workers also want the hotel industry standard for banquet gratuity transparency to ensure tips are being correctly distributed, and for a guarantee that guest rooms will be cleaned daily.”

One of the workers, Shaelyn Arnould, a Starbucks food service worker who has been at the hotel for five years, spoke of her “frustration.”

“Sheraton is a top destination for people landing at YVR airport and is known to be one of the largest and busiest hotels in the lower mainland,” said Arnould.

“We are approximately $5 per hour behind other similar hotels in the Vancouver area - that’s up to a 30% wage difference.

“In our latest bargaining sessions with the company, they have made it clear they have no intention of providing us with living wages. As working at Sheraton YVR has become increasingly frustrating, we have never been more united and willing to fight for what is right for us and our families.”

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