FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2020
Contact: Stephanie Fung, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-928-7356; or Michelle Travis, email@example.com, 778-960-9785
WHAT: Candlelight Vigil
WHO: Hotel workers, faith leaders and community allies from Victoria and Lower Mainland.
WHERE: Steps of the BC Legislature, 501 Belleville St, Victoria, BC
WHEN: Thursday, August 20, 9:00 p.m.
WHY: Tonight, fasters and community allies will hold a candlelight vigil as they await a decision from the province regarding recall protections for laid-off hotel workers. Tens of thousands of hotel workers face the risk of being terminated from their jobs in the absence of basic protections. The JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is the latest in a series of non-union hotels that have used the pandemic to fire workers, originally laid-off due to the pandemic, despite the province urging “employers [to] do the right thing” and keep their workforce. While the province granted employers a delay in severance payouts and considers the tourism sector’s request for a $680 million bailout, laid-off workers have no basic protections to keep their jobs.
Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40, said: “While we wait for the province’s response, more non-union hotel workers are facing mass terminations. The high-end JW Marriott Parq Hotel is the latest in a string of hotels that are failing to keep their workforce intact. How many more hotel workers will lose their jobs while employers use the pandemic as an excuse to eventually replace them? What’s worse is that JW Marriott Parq sits on land controlled by a provincial crown corporation, PavCo. Hotel workers will continue to wage their hunger strike until the province takes action and gives laid-off hotel workers a legal right to return to their jobs. The time to act is now.”
Laid-off hotel workers have been fasting on the lawn of the BC Legislature for 11 days, with non-union workers joining the fast yesterday. The hunger strike will continue indefinitely until laid-off hotel workers are granted a right to return to their jobs.
VISUALS: Fasters singing, holding candles and colourful signs, socially distanced and wearing masks.
UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.