Stop booking guests at Radisson Blu, striking hotel workers tell Carnival Cruises

Striking workers at a Vancouver airport hotel are urging Carnival Cruises to stop booking passengers into their hotel.

Cunard, Carnival’s luxury cruise line that operates the Queen Elizabeth, has been using the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel, located in Richmond, as an embarkment point for passengers of that liner who are sailing to Alaska.

Workers at the 388-room hotel, which is a 30-minute drive from Vancouver’s cruise terminals, have been on strike for two years after their employer laid off 70 per cent of staff during the pandemic. Since that time, the BC Labour Relations Board says the hotel is breaking the labour code by illegally using impermissible replacement workers, and the hotel is currently subject to a boycott by both the Canadian Labour Congress and the BC Federation of Labour.

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The striking workers say customers should be informed about the ongoing strike and limited staffing due to the mass terminations.

“Why isn’t Cunard putting Queen Elizabeth guests into a fully staffed hotel that treats workers with appropriate decency?” the workers, represented by Unite Here Local 40, wrote in an open letter addressed to the presidents of Carnival Corporation, Carnival UK, and Cunard.

“We believe that this behaviour contradicts Cunard’s business partner code of conduct and ethics, which sets out an expectation for all business partners to conduct their activities in a manner that adheres to applicable employment laws and respects human rights.”

In the letter, the workers say that because of a lack of breakfast options at the Radission, Cunard recently bussed guests to a second hotel, the Hilton Vancouver Airport, where they crossed another picket line.

“We call upon Cunard to honour their commitment to their guests by providing the full luxury experience they paid for by moving them from the Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport Hotel to a hotel that isn’t on strike or under a boycott,” the letter continued.

The workers are asking Cunard to stop using the hotel for the remainder of the 2023 summer season and through 2024, or until the strike has ended.

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