Message from President Zailda Chan to Local 40 Members

Dear UNITE HERE Local 40 members,

The COVID-19 global health pandemic is impacting all workers in the hospitality industry in ways that none of us would have ever imagined. With the drastic downturn of tourism, border closures and public health measures, I know a majority of UNITE HERE Local 40’s members working across British Columbia in airports, hotels, food service and camps are facing economic hardships never experienced before. In a matter of weeks, expenses like paying for our rent, mortgage, car, utilities and food have become inconceivable.

But we are in this together.  We need to stick together just as we have in the past when the employer has wanted to offer us very little for a contract or fighting unfair treatment. As a union, UNITE HERE will not sit quietly during this crisis. We plan to demand and work on all fronts to make sure hospitality workers are receiving the support they need to get through this period. We are in communication with employers and government officials to discuss how we minimize the impact on you and your families.

In the meantime, we have posted information on our website to address your immediate questions about Employment Insurance, Local 40 medical benefits and other information.

Employment Insurance

To answer any questions you may have about your eligibility for EI benefits, please click here.  If you have additional questions about EI, send Local 40 an email at [email protected] or text to 604-813-2105.

Union Health Benefits

Local 40 is reaching out to employers about extending your medical coverage to protect you and your family.  Click here for answers to questions you have about health benefits.  For updates on your health benefits, please text “Local40” to 393939.

Job Opportunities for Local 40 Members

Local 40 has been working with Compass Group to allow for Local 40 members to be offered positions IMMEDIATELY in area hospitals as casual cleaning employees throughout B.C.  Click here to learn more.

Other Assistance

There has been a flurry of announcements regarding financial assistance from various levels of government to workers in need of support.  Check here for ongoing updates on our website.

For Members Who are Working

We want to make sure that members who are working during this time are safe and provided with proper training and safety gear.  No one should have to choose between income and protecting their health.  If you have any concerns about health and safety at your workplace, please contact your organizer or workplace committee contact.

Regular Communications with Local 40 Members

This week, Local 40 held a conference call with over 150 committee members representing workplaces across the province to provide updates.  We will continue to update members regularly.  If you have questions about your workplace, please contact your organizer or committee person.  And if you have family and friends working in hospitality and food service who need assistance, they are welcome to contact us as well at [email protected]l40union.com.

Now more than ever, we need to work together as we will go much further together than on our own. 

In solidarity,

Zailda Chan

President