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Video: NDP leader Jagmeet Singh walks picket line with Richmond's striking hotel workers

Singh urged workers at the Sheraton in the city centre and the Radisson Blu near YVR not to give up the fight

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was walking the picket lines in Richmond today, voicing and showing his support for striking hotel workers.

Singh turned up Friday morning at both picket lines at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel on Westminster Highway and over at the renamed Radisson Blu on Cessna Drive (formerly the Pacific Gateway).

The Sheraton workers have been on strike for two weeks, while the former Pacific Gateway workers have been on strike for more than two years.

While on the line with the former Pacific Gateway employees, Singh urged them not to give up and to keep on fighting.

“Whenever you are fighting for your rights, you’re fighting for all workers across this country,” Singh told them.

“When these big companies are making so much money, workers deserve good wages.

“It has been tough I know for two years. Keep the pressure up, we’ve been doing it at the federal level as well.

“It’s wrong what is happening to you and we stand with you.”

The workers are all members of UNITE HERE Local 40, with the Radisson Blu workers now being part of the longest hotel strike in B.C. history.

During the pandemic, the hotel terminated 143 long-term staff, mostly women and people of colour, all while the hotel was being used as a federal quarantine facility and getting paid millions of dollars in the process.

While their colleagues over at the Sheraton walked off the job on June 14 in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Last week, the BC Labour Board declared that the Sheraton employer, Larco Hospitality, violated B.C.’s anti-scab law and used unlawful replacement workers.

The BC Federation of Labour (BCFED) then declared a public boycott of Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport and Sheraton Vancouver Airport, as well as the Sheraton’s sister hotels next door – the Hilton Vancouver Airport and Marriott Vancouver Airport.