Richmond, BC — Richmond City Council has adopted a resolution to not give any business to Pacific Gateway Hotel until hotel management reaches an agreement with UNITE HERE, the union representing workers who have been on strike for 13 months. The resolution comes after a delegation of striking Pacific Gateway hotel workers appeared and spoke before Richmond City Council in April to urge City Councillors not to spend any public money at the hotel.
The city informed the union and the hotel owner, PHI Hotel Group, of Council’s resolution in a letter this week. The resolution was adopted at a Council meeting on May 9.
During the pandemic, PHI Hotel Group allowed the federal government to use Pacific Gateway as a quarantine site. The feds pulled out in January 2022 citing concerns over the hotel’s treatment of workers. Workers went on strike in May 2021 after the hotel terminated 143 long-term staff during the height of COVID-19. The B.C. Federation of Labour has endorsed a boycott of the hotel.
Most of the terminated Pacific Gateway workers are women. A terminated housekeeper filed a human rights complaint against the hotel last year on behalf of herself and 89 other women for wrongful firings on the basis of sex and racial discrimination. UNITE HERE Local 40 launched the B.C. Unequal Women campaign to highlight how women have borne the brunt of pandemic terminations in the hospitality industry. Since the launch of the campaign, hotels across B.C. have agreed to bring their workers back to their pre-pandemic jobs, including Hilton Metrotown which recently resolved a 13-month lockout. Pacific Gateway has refused to return workers, many of whom live in Richmond, to their jobs,
“I’m happy that Richmond City Council decided to adopt the resolution,” said Treva Martell, a terminated server from Pacific Gateway hotel and a Richmond resident. “We’re the ones who built up this hotel and made it its name. I’m glad Council understands this is bad for Richmond residents and bad for business. Their decision sends a strong message that they will not condone the hotel’s actions. Thank you to Richmond City Councillors for standing behind us workers. It means so much to me.”
CONTACT: Stephanie Fung, email@example.com, 604-928-7356; or Michelle Travis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 778-960-9785
UNITE HERE Local 40 is a labour union representing workers in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.