Vancouver, BC — Naden Abenes, a room attendant from the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, has been acclaimed by the NDP to be its candidate for Vancouver Quadra in the next federal election. UNITE HERE Local 40 is proud to endorse Naden, whose candidacy representing a major Canadian political party is unprecedented. If elected as MP, she would be the first Filipino Canadian woman to serve in the House of Commons.
Naden has been a member of UNITE HERE Local 40 and shop steward for 13 years. In 2019, she led her co-workers, many of them women and immigrants, in Vancouver’s largest hotel strike where they achieved historic wage increases and benefits.
She will not only be a strong voice for the riding, she will bring a unique perspective representing those who are often overlooked by Ottawa. If elected, Naden will likely be the first hospitality worker ever to serve as a Member of Parliament in Canada.
Naden raised her children as a single mom while working two jobs. She was laid off when the pandemic struck, and moved twice in the past year. She decided to enter politics to stand up for workers who have been made unequal by the economic impact of COVID-19. In BC’s hospitality industry alone, 50,000 hotel workers lost their jobs in 2020, and many have not returned to work. Instead of bringing them back to their jobs as business resumes, some hotels are firing their long-term workforce — many of whom are women of colour.
UNITE HERE Local 40, launched the BC Unequal Women campaign this past spring to call attention to how some hotels have taken advantage of the pandemic to terminate and replace workers.
Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40: “I have known Naden since she started working at Hyatt Regency Vancouver and consider her one of our strongest union leaders. Her passion for workers’ rights, commitment to the labour movement, and relentless drive to fight even in the face of adversity is inspiring. Now more than ever, we need political representatives like Naden in Ottawa — someone with lived experience, someone who knows first hand the urgency of important issues like affordable housing, and a fair recovery for those hit hardest by the pandemic, particularly women of colour. I stand firmly behind her as our NDP candidate for Vancouver Quadra.”
Media Contact: Stephanie Fung, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-928-7356