For Immediate Release

March 28, 2023

Contact: Rachel Cohen,

Union Win at Marriott Hotel Ciela Zambia as IUF and GLJ-ILRF Campaign for Labor Rights Accountability in Development Finance Loans Continues

Workers at the Marriott Ciela Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia voted overwhelmingly today for their union delegates with the Zambian union, Hotel, Catering, Tourism and Allied Workers of Zambia(HCTAWUZ), affiliated to the Zambian Confederation of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF).

The IFC loan recipient and hotel owner benefitted from millions of USD in development finance loans for the construction of this hotel and three other Marriott-branded hotels where workers have raised violations of labor rights including the freedom of association.

After years of campaigning and under pressure from the IUF and GLJ-ILRF, the IFC and the employer eventually ended union-busting and harassment and facilitated an environment where workers could vote for union delegates free from intimidation.

While today’s election represents a positive outcome for workers, IUF and GLJ-ILRF continue to advocate for a model where the IFC facilitates early engagement between their clients and unions around respect for the IFC’s labor safeguards. We are also hopeful that today’s election represents an important step forward for respect for freedom of association as well as free and fair union elections at other IFC-funded Marriott hotels.

For more on the history of labor struggle at the Marriott Hotel Ciela, the IUF and GLJ-ILRF’s campaign for labor rights accountability in IFC-funded hotel projects, and the need for aCompliance Accountability Policy (CAP) for development loans in the hotel sector, see our recently released report here.


Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.