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Court bans striking hotel workers in Vancouver from using sirens to make noise


October 15, 2019
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — A luxury hotel in Vancouver has been granted a court injunction against striking workers using sirens to make noise outside the premises.

The Rosewood Hotel Georgia was granted an injunction in B.C. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 and the judgment was posted online Friday.

Justice Nitya Iyer says in the ruling the hotel provided evidence of an incident in which a member of Unite Here Local 40 injured a security guard by aiming a blow horn directly into his ear.

Iyer says a noise bylaw bans continuous sound exceeding 70 decibels and recordings taken outside the hotel show that noise levels surpassed 85 decibels the vast majority of the time.

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She ruled workers can no longer use sirens at all and they must keep sound under 75 decibels when using drums, air horns, blow horns, whistles, speakers, megaphones or other devices.

A separate court ruling earlier this month prevents workers from using air horns, sirens, blow horns and whistles around the Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront, which are also behind union picket lines.

The union says workload, safety and job security are key contract issues at all four locations.

Sharan Pawa, a spokeswoman for Unite Here Local 40, says in a statement that the court rulings do not dampen workers’ resolve and determination.

“We will abide by this court decision and continue to demonstrate and strike for standards that will transform the way rich corporations and developers treat workers in Vancouver,” she says.

Michael D’Angelo, vice-president of labour relations for the Hyatt hotel chain in the Americas, says the court judgment involving the Hyatt Regency is a step in the right direction.

“Our colleagues are the heart of our business, and we respect the rights of our colleagues to voice their opinions in a way that is less disruptive to our guests and visitors,” he says in a statement.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh walked the picket line with some of the workers in downtown Vancouver on Monday.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2019