For Immediate Release
December 18, 2020
Nanaimo, B.C.— With Christmas around the corner, laid-off Coast Bastion Hotel workers have learned they may soon be fired. Thirty servers, cooks, valets and other Coast Bastion staff, including those who have served the hotel for over 30 years, will be affected. The hotel refuses to ensure long-term staff can return to their jobs when tourism comes back. The workers have been laid-off since March.
Coast Hotels, which manages the hotel on behalf of the IUOE Local 115 pension fund, has refused to allow the workers up to 24 months to return to their jobs amid a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic crisis. Workers have invested years of service to the Coast Bastion, a premier hotel which has long served as a go-to destination for union meetings and conventions.
“I have loved being a server at Coast Bastion for 13 years. I’m almost 60 and was planning to retire here. Why won’t Coast and the hotel owner commit to bringing us back when business gets better? We know a vaccine is on the way and business will eventually recover. Instead, Coast Bastion is taking advantage of COVID-19 and turned their backs on us. I’m getting groceries at a food bank and struggling to pay my mortgage. I’m devastated. I don’t want to lose my career,” said Marcia Little, a laid-off server who is facing termination.
“For 12 years, I have served customers at Coast Bastion with pride. I thought I had a secure future here. I can’t believe that a hotel owned by a union pension fund would do this to us. How can this happen? We did nothing wrong. The government asked us to stay home because of COVID-19 and now it’s as if we’re being punished,” said Garry Constable, a long-term laid-off server.
“This is unacceptable. Coast is doing exactly what many hotel employers are doing around the province: getting rid of their long-term staff who can be replaced when business returns. Hotel owners and operators should not be allowed to get away with this. Hard-hit hospitality workers need a guarantee that they can return to their jobs once tourism comes back,” said Zailda Chan, UNITE HERE Local 40 President.
Coast also announced this week plans to terminate workers at Coast Victoria and Coast Inn of the North (Prince George).