Nanaimo, B.C. — Today, dozens of Coast Bastion hotel workers and community allies protested at the Coast Bastion to demand the hotel stop using the pandemic to increase workloads. The hotel is seizing the chance to use the pandemic to cut back daily room cleaning, and destroy wages and job security. Coast Bastion hotel workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.
Coast Bastion is taking advantage of the pandemic to eliminate the practice of daily room cleaning. Reducing the frequency of cleaning to protect guests not only cuts jobs, but also creates unsafe workloads because housekeepers who are left on the job must service rooms that have gone days without cleaning or sanitation. The elimination of daily room cleaning increases the number of dirty “checkout” rooms a housekeeper must clean.
“I love my job because I get to meet people from around the world, but I feel like my hotel isn’t treating me like I’m human anymore. We housekeepers have always worked very hard but during the pandemic we’re being pushed to do more than ever before. The hotel is using the pandemic to get rid of daily room cleaning, but that just makes rooms dirtier by the time guests check out and take longer to clean. I’m sore all the time and literally hobble back to my car after work. At 59 years old, I can’t keep up with this much longer. It’s inhumane,” said Lori Mcdonald, housekeeper at the Coast Bastion.
Coast Bastion terminated nearly 50 long-term staff in December and refuses to commit to bring them back as business recovers. Recently, over 1000 BC hospitality workers won recall rights and protections for union health care and pension, in a four-year agreement with Hospitality Industrial Relations. As BC’s hotel industry recovers from the pandemic and commits to bring workers back to their jobs, Coast Bastion and other Coast hotels in Victoria and Prince George are leaving workers behind.
UNITE HERE Local 40 launched the BC Unequal Women campaign earlier this year to call attention to how women in the hospitality industry are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Coast Bastion workers, many of them women bearing the brunt of COVID-19, have dedicated years of service to the hotel which has long served as a venue for union meetings and conventions.
For additional information, please contact Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected]om
UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service, camp, and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.