If workers vote to boycott the Hilton Vancouver and Convention Center, it will go bankrupt, shut down, lose the Hilton flag, and be converted to an office building. That’s a remarkable claim considering that the facility is publicly owned. But that’s what workers — members of UNITE HERE Local 9 — were told by management in the days leading up to a boycott vote, according to charges the union filed Dec. 2.
Local 9 accuses Hilton management of interfering with its internal process — a vote on whether to boycott the hotel, nearly six months after the union contract expired. Managers threatened unspecified reprisals, scheduled employees to work during the boycott vote, escorted them to the vote and remained there while they voted, and even gave workers donuts for voting “no.”
The boycott proposal, recommended by union leaders, lost 57-49.
Since then, one outspoken union activist at the hotel, telephone operator Lucas Fielder, was fired Dec. 21, a day after he spoke out at a protest vigil.