Hotel workers rallied in front of the Vancouver City Hall to press for a policy to help protect their female members from lewd hotel guests.
This happened after several of their members recounted their experience of sexual harassment and sexual assault from these predatory guests.
“He came up to me, physically restrained me so I couldn’t move, such as like that, and said some very nasty sexual comments to me then he tried to kiss me, like multiple times, then eventually I kind of like turn away then he bit me really hard on the neck.”
“I go to the bed area and planning to tidy up the bed, but I see this guy lying down on the bed and masturbating and looking straight into my eyes.”
“Do you know anyone who can give me a massage, then I said, I’m sorry sir we don’t have a spa in here and then he said, Can I give you a thousand dollars and then you can give me a massage? And it’s like for an hour, and I swear…”
Nym Calvez, who is also a member of the executive board of the hotel workers union, says these incidents happen in every hotel yet no one wants to talk about it.
“It’s very prevalent in the hotel industry but while I’m talking to other organizations, and unions, too, I think everyone have experienced this.”
This is why the union is demanding that hotels take concrete steps now to protect their female workers outlining the importance of these three measures.
“One is safety buttons, for women to wear on their collar so that when they’re working alone, on the floors or when they’re in the restaurant, they can just press it if there’s an emergency. Number 2, that there be a registry for banned guests,” said Zailda Chan, President of Unite Here Local 40. “And number 3, it’s about protection for women who come forward.”
Instead of looking into their request, Chan said Hotel Georgia cancelled their scheduled negotiations, and will only come back to the table after an apology from the women.
A statement from the hotel group read:
Rosewood Hotel Georgia is very concerned about the allegations of sexual harassment and assault made by some of the hotel’s staff members. This specific incident was fully addressed by the hotel and resolved with the individual involved. Rosewood Hotel Georgia maintains a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and does not condone discriminatory practices in any capacity. The hotel remains fully committed to providing a safe and fair work environment for all employees.