For Immediate Release Contact: Michelle Travis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 778-960-9785
Vancouver, BC – Hotel workers at Hilton Metrotown were locked out late Thursday night. The labour dispute comes over the employers’ refusal to commit to return 97 long-term workers back to their jobs as business recovers. The lockout impacts all Hilton Metrotown workers including room attendants, front desk agents, laundry attendants, kitchen staff and other hourly workers. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.
The hotel has refused to negotiate over enhanced job security for workers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Instead, the hotel terminated 97 long-term staff in recent weeks rather than commit to bring them back when jobs become available again. Management has indicated that more firings are likely if workers have been out of work for more than 12 months. Other hotel employers, like Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront, have committed to retain long-term staff during the crisis rather than fire them.
During a temporary crisis, Hilton Metrotown wants to permanently eliminate living wage jobs and replace them at minimum wage, eliminate workload protections, and take away workers’ current medical and pension benefits. The hotel’s actions largely impact women and people of colour already bearing the brunt of the pandemic.
“Hilton Metrotown is taking women and racialized workers hostage in order to impose permanent changes during the pandemic. When workers refused to accept management’s plan to get rid of their co-workers, the hotel fired them and locked out the rest. This hotel wants to undermine the economic security of women and immigrant workers who put this hotel on the map. We won’t let them get away with that,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40.
“It is truly disheartening that hotel management has chosen to lock us out instead of working with us to get through the pandemic. The lengths at which Hilton Metrotown will go to destroy the good jobs we built over twenty years of working together is unacceptable,” said Sergio Moyer, a locked-out front desk supervisor who has worked at the hotel since it opened.
The hotel is owned by DSDL Canada Investments, a subsidiary of South Korean-based DSDL Co., and operated by Crescent Hotels & Resorts which is headquartered in the U.S.