Striking hotel workers block busy street in downtown Vancouver
VANCOUVER - Hundreds of striking hotel employees blocked traffic in downtown Vancouver during the afternoon rush hour Thursday, drawing attention to working conditions at some of the city's ritziest accommodations.
The workers gathered in front of the Hyatt Regency Hotel before crowding onto both sides of Burrard Street – a move that represents a major escalation in their ongoing job action.
The employees come from the Hyatt, the Hotel Georgia, the Pinnacle Harbourfront and the Westin Bayshore, and have been picketing in front of the various hotels for several days straight.
Striking workers told CTV News they hope Thursday's large show of solidarity will help get negotiations back on track.
In a statement, Hyatt Hotels confirmed neither side is currently at the bargaining table. The company has offered a 15 per cent wage increase over four years, though the workers say the strike is about more than money.
They are pushing for better working conditions, and the right to continue receiving benefits in the slower winter months when the company often only offers part-time hours.
Employees have vowed to stay on the picket line until a deal is reached.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ben Miljure