To Have and to Hold? Hilton Metrotown Workers Stage Demonstration to Urge Prospective Newlyweds Not to Get Married at Hotel

Burnaby, BC — Today on Valentine’s Day, locked out Hilton Metrotown hotel workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, set up a picket line in front of a mock wedding outside the hotel, to urge couples to  “put a ring on it” somewhere else. During the pandemic, Hilton Metrotown management terminated 97 long-term staff, and locked out the rest on April 15, 2021. Workers have been on the picket line for nearly 10 months.

Hilton Metrotown is a popular wedding destination for Burnaby locals looking to tie the knot. While Hilton Metrotown has promoted To Have & To Hold, an “all inclusive intimate wedding ceremony” package for customers, workers are describing a much different story at the hotel where they’ve been locked out of their jobs.

“Don’t put a ring on it at Hilton Metrotown. I worked as a room attendant for 15 years at this hotel until management locked me out in 2021, after firing 97 of my co-workers. I urge you to tie the knot at a venue that respects workers,” said Jaswinder Bassi.

“I met the love of my life at this hotel, where he worked as a chef and I as a night auditor. We are incensed at Hilton Metrotown’s actions. Would you get married at a hotel that disrespects working people?” said Liza Secretaria, who served the hotel for almost 22 years.

The B.C. Federation of Labour has endorsed a boycott of Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. UNITE HERE Local 40 launched a website last spring to call attention to how hotels have used the pandemic to roll back the clock on women’s economic security. The Union is urging couples to choose other venues that respect workers by visiting our Travel Alert webpage, https://www.bcunequalwomen.org/bc-travel-alert/.

For more information, please contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected], or Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, [email protected]

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UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.