Press Release: Immigrant Worker Fired After Fighting Against Wage Discrimination at YVR Airport

Union calls on Vancouver Airport Authority to fire MGM Food Services


Richmond, BC – A YVR Vancouver Airport worker who signed a mass petition calling for a $25 airport living wage and encouraged co-workers to sign was fired shortly afterward by a YVR operator. UNITE HERE Local 40 is raising concerns about the action taken against the non-union worker and urging Vancouver Airport Authority to cut ties with the operator, MGM Food Services.

MGM Food Services operates two A&W locations at YVR Airport. On April 4, Ann John, a worker at the A&W outlet located in the international terminal, signed the petition calling for a $25 living wage at YVR. Ann is a new Canadian working towards her permanent resident status.

Three days later, MGM Food Services held an all-employee meeting where they warned employees about the petition which was being circulated among airport workers. At the meeting, management learned that Ms. John had added her name to the petition and had spoken to her co-workers about it as well. The company also posted a notice on the employee bulletin board cautioning workers about the $25 living wage petition.

Two weeks afterwards, she was told by management she was not a good fit for the organization and was fired. Ms. John had not been disciplined for any reason during her year and a half employment. Ms. John was one of the hundreds who signed the petition to YVR CEO Tamara Vrooman calling for a $25 living wage at the airport. Her termination followed a rally at YVR organized by Local 40 on April 19, the same day the petition was delivered to the Vancouver Airport Authority. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, along with fellow labour allies, joined rallying airport workers in support of their fight to end wage discrimination at YVR.

“If a food operator refused to serve a customer because of the color of their skin, they would be evicted. MGM fired someone just weeks after standing up against wage discrimination. They shouldn’t be allowed to operate in the airport. They fired her, now YVR needs to fire them,” stated Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40. “YVR was recently awarded the top airport in North America, yet no worker at this world-class airport should feel like they cannot express their views about earning a living wage.”

UNITE HERE Local 40 has informed the Vancouver Airport Authority of the unjust termination. The Union demands the Airport Authority ensure Ann is reinstated to her position and takes steps to cut ties with MGM Food Servies for its actions.


Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693,