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GMB Protest Demonstration Global Day Of Action

Thursday, June 26, 2014

GMB Protest Demonstration On Friday 27th June Over Homophobic Stance Of Sultan Of Brunei Owner Of Dorchester Hotel London

Brunei law calls for death by stoning as the penalty for gay sex as well as adultery and for the severing of limbs for theft. Brunei law also permits marital rape says GMB.

GMB supporting our sister union UNITE HERE in the US plan protest demo at 11 am on Friday 27th June 2014 outside the 45 Park Lane Hotel (this is not the Dorchester - it is a smaller hotel just down the road from the Dorchester itself) over Sultan of Brunei who owns the hotels (including the London ones) implementing a version of Islamist law in Brunei that condones marital rape and declares homosexuality a crime.

UNITE HERE have been in dispute with the Dorchester Collection since the Sultan of Brunei bought the hotel chain 2 years ago. After he took the hotels over he effectively replaced the staff at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air and effectively derecognised the union. They have been in dispute ever since.

The 27th June will be a global day of action with demos at hotels in Los Angeles, London, Milan, Paris and Geneva. There will also be demos outside Brunei embassy's in Australia, Belgium, India, US and Canada. In the States the campaign is being run with the headline "Change the law or sell the hotels".

Michelle Gordon, GMB Political Officer and Equality Officer, said “Recently the Sultan of Brunei has implemented a horrific penal code in Brunei that condones marital rape and declares homosexuality a crime. The law decrees stoning to death as a punishment for homosexuality. As well as advocating the stoning of gay people the legislation allows for the severing of limbs for theft. If a woman is raped and becomes pregnant, Brunei law places the burden on the victim to prove rape or else she will herself face punishment”

The campaign is to encourage people not to use the hotels until the Sultan changes the law or sells the hotels.

In the US many celebrities have supported the boycott and refused to use the hotels, this has included Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno and Sharon Osbourne. In the UK Stephen Fry has tweeted his support for the boycott - "Not that you were necessarily going to stay there, but time to boycott the Dorchester Group." and cancelled his own plans to stay at their Ascot hotel.

Richard Branson has also said that "No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights."

There has been large scale support from the fashion industry, celebrities, trade unions and LGBT and women's rights organisations.

We are also being asked to signpost people to the boycott at



Contact: Michelle Gordon on 07866 369259 or GMB Press Office on 07974 251 823


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