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Marriott and Hilton hotels added to Richmond city's boycott list

The mayor argued against boycotting hotels that aren't in a labour dispute although they are behind picket lines.
The Marriott, Sheraton and Hilton hotels on Westminster Highway are all being picketed although only Sheraton workers are on strike.

Three hotels in Richmond will be boycotted by the city after a second vote on the issue was passed with a 6-3 vote on Monday afternoon by Richmond city councillors.

This vote extended a boycott to the Marriott and Hilton hotels, currently in the same block as the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel that has been behind picket lines for seven months.

Last week, city council heard a from a delegation of representatives of Unite Here Local 40 who asked for a city boycott while the workers are on strike.

The BC Labour Board has ruled striking Sheraton workers are allowed to picket all three hotels.

The mover of the motion, Coun. Bill McNulty said last week a boycott should apply to “those hotels,” but the official minutes of the meeting, posted online on Friday, stated the boycott applied only to the Sheraton hotel.

The union sent out a press release on Wednesday, saying city council had decided to boycott the three hotels.

They had checked with their legal counsel before sending out the press release, the union told the Richmond News.

This Monday, in discussing the further boycott, McNulty said he assumed this would also mean the Richmond Olympic Oval also boycott the three hotels.

“I can’t encourage people to cross a picket line,” McNulty said.

In the end, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Couns. Andy Hobbs and Alexa Loo voted against expanding the boycott to the two other hotels.

Brodie noted the labour dispute was only with Sheraton workers, not the workers in the Marriott and Hilton.

Furthermore, he said the striking workers who spoke to them said the fault all lies with the management.

“I think if you hear from management on that, they have a very different version of that,” he added.

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