For Immediate Release – August 13, 2020
Victoria, BC – Fasting hotel workers welcomed two prominent visitors to their encampment at the BC Legislature yesterday – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Victoria MP Laurel Collins. The MPs stopped by to share words of encouragement and support with the fasters on the fourth day of their hunger strike. The workers launched a “Fast for Our Jobs” on Monday urging the province to enact a legal right for hard-hit hotel workers to eventually return to their jobs.
Singh and Collins gathered with the fasters in an impromptu meeting at the fasters’ tent. Singh told the group of laid-off hotel workers: “We think about you all the time. It is going to be a while before tourism, hotels and all the workers get back to work. There needs to be some sort of support in place for these [workers]. It is a very serious challenge, and we are going to be there with you every step of the way.”
The fasters applauded the messages from the MPs and expressed their hope that the province will act urgently.
“I’m really glad NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Collins came by to talk to fasters about the situation we’re facing. They gave us moral support. That’s so important right now because time is running out. We hope the government will do the right thing. After fasting for four days, we want an answer from the province. We need to know if we’ll have the right to be recalled to our jobs,” said Naden Abenes, a laid-off room attendant from the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
Singh and Collins join a growing group of elected officials, community and faith leaders who have expressed their support for the fasting hotel workers. Victoria City Councillor Sharmarke Dubow visited with the fasters earlier this week; Vancouver City Councillor Jean Swanson held a public fast outside the office of a Vancouver NDP MLA on Wednesday.
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