Locked Out Hilton Metrotown Workers to Stage Demonstration at YVR Airport: “Lufthansa Airline Crew, Don’t Cross Our Picket Line!”

Vancouver, B.C. — Today, a dozen locked out Hilton Metrotown workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, will leaflet Lufthansa airline crew members as they embark from the Vancouver International Airport to the hotel. Hilton Metrotown locked out workers last month after firing 97 staff. The employer has refused to commit to return long-term workers back to their jobs as business recovers. While large unions and Burnaby City Council have pledged not to patronize the hotel until it reinstates its workers, Lufthansa flight crew members continue to cross the picket line by staying at Hilton Metrotown. Hotel workers are entering the 5th week of the lockout.

WHAT: Locked out Hilton Metrotown Workers’ to Demonstrate at YVR Airport

WHERE: Vancouver International Airport, 3211 Grant McConachie Way (USA & International Arrivals baggage pickup area, Level 2) 

WHEN: Thursday, May 13, 3:00 p.m

VISUALS:     Hotel workers wearing masks standing 2 metres apart, holding colourful leaflets, banners, and signs.

Media availability with workers and UNITE HERE Local 40 representatives.

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

 -30-

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.

Media Advisory: Striking Pacific Gateway Workers to Hold Car Caravan and Rally; Protest over Hotel Industry Attacks on Women, Racialized Workers

WHAT: On May 6, striking Pacific Gateway workers will stage a car caravan and rally Thursday afternoon to call attention to the hotel industry’s onslaught on women and immigrant workers. Community, labour groups, and allied hotel workers from area hotels will join the striking workers in the action.

WHO: Pacific Gateway hotel workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

WHEN: Thursday, May 6, 5:00PM Pacific Time

WHERE: Pacific Gateway Hotel, 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC

WHY: The decision to strike this week comes after hotel management terminated 42 workers over the past weekend, upping the total of fired workers to 103. Workers are escalating job action over Pacific Gateway’s refusal to return workers to their jobs when the COVID-19 pandemic passes. The federal quarantine hotel is threatening to fire more long-term staff to induce them to accept a two-tier wage structure with replacement workers earning minimum wage.

While Pacific Gateway workers are on the 4th day of their strike, today also marks the beginning of the 4th week of Hilton Metrotown workers being locked out. Hotel workers across the province are fighting back against the industry attacks on long-term staff, many of whom are women and people of colour already bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis.

VISUALS: Workers standing 2 metres apart, picketing with signs, banners, drums, pots, and pans. Car caravan with cars covered in signs and honking around Lysander Lane and Cessna Drive.

Contact: Stephanie Fung, [email protected], 604-928-7356, or Michelle Travis, [email protected], 778-960-9785

#BCUnequalWomen #TakeBackThursday

www.bcunequalwomen.org

###

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.

BREAKING: Workers Strike at Vancouver Federal Quarantine Hotel Over Mass Firings, Devastating Roll-backs

CONTACT: Stephanie Fung, [email protected], 604-928-7356; or Michelle Travis, [email protected], 778-960-9785

As of 5:00AM Pacific Gateway Workers are on strike.  Women leading strike say, “Trudeau promised a ‘Feminist Recovery’ but won’t protect the women at the hotel he controls.”

WHAT: UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel members – room attendants, front desk agents, cooks, servers and more – are on strike at Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver International Airport.

WHEN:  Strike commences on May 3, 2021; 5:00AM

WHERE: Pacific Gateway Hotel, 3500 Cessna Drive, Richmond, BC

WHO: UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel workers and union representatives will be available for comment.

WHY:  After months of watching their employer use the pandemic to fire long-term staff and roll-back the economic security of women and immigrant workers, Pacific Gateway Hotel workers are on strike.  Workers are striking over hotel management’s refusal to commit to return long-term staff to their jobs when business recovers.  While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises a feminist recovery, a hotel taken over by his government is destroying living wage jobs that enabled women and immigrant workers to join the middle class.

Pacific Gateway has terminated 103 workers, 42 of them this weekend – and nearly two-thirds of those fired are women. The hotel made clear its intentions to fire all those laid-off more than 12 months – the vast majority of its pre-Covid workforce. The average Pacific Gateway worker has worked at the hotel for more than a decade; some with over forty years of service.

Workers were displaced when the federal government took over the hotel last year under a quarantine order and brought in the Red Cross to perform their duties.  The federal government has extended its contract several times and has looked the other way as hard-hit workers, many of them women from the South Asian and Chinese communities, pay the price.

“Prime Minster Trudeau, I was fired this past weekend after 27 years of service. Is this what you call a feminist recovery? I have 3 girls – one in Grade 5, one in high school, and another in college. I raised them on this job.  Pacific Gateway is outright attacking women and our federal government is doing nothing to stop it. You said you would prioritize women in Canada’s economic recovery — but you’ve failed us. That’s why I’m on the picket line today with women like me. We’re not going to give up on everything we worked so hard for,” said Pardeep Thandi, a room attendant who served the hotel for 27 years until she was permanently laid-off this weekend.

Hotel management is using the temporary COVID-19 crisis to propose permanent changes to undermine job security and make the work more precarious.  The employer wants a 7-year contract that would reduce many workers’ hourly pay to minimum wage. That would mean as much as $2.00 to $6.50/hour less for servers, hostesses, baristas, dishwashers, and others. The employer also wants to eliminate workers’ current union health and pension benefits, force them to share tips with management, allow for subcontracting and make changes that would allow the hotel to circumvent overtime, eliminate paid time off and severance, among other cuts.

The hotel’s demands are very similar to those made by Hilton Metrotown which locked out its hotel staff earlier this month.  Both hotels are represented by Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR), which issued a lockout notice last week to 1,200 hospitality workers who work at 32 other hotels, motels, and liquor establishments across British Columbia.

The federal government has given the hotel industry billions in public subsidies and other relief while the industry turns back the clock for women and racialized workers who are its backbone. Pacific Gateway Hotel, owned by Surrey-based PHI Hotel Group has taken advantage of the federal wage subsidy program, but unclear whether any workers benefitted.

#BCUnequalWomen

www.bcunequalwomen.org/bc-travel-alert/

###

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.

PRESS RELEASE: Hilton Metrotown Cuts off Hotel Workers’ Employment Insurance; Shameful Attack on Women and Racialized Workers’ During COVID Crisis

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2021

On May Day, Hilton Metrotown workers worry whether they can pay their bills

Vancouver, BC — Hilton Metrotown has cut off almost 50 of its laid-off workers’ employment insurance benefits in a direct attack on its locked out and laid-off workers. This comes as the hotel’s lockout enters its third week and affects those, primarily women and people of colour, who have been out of work for months. The hotel locked out room attendants, front desk agents, banquet, and kitchen staff on April 16 after terminating 97 long-term workers. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

Affected workers have been cut off for nearly two weeks. The union has launched an online petition calling on federal Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and MP for Delta, to intervene and protect laid-off Hilton Metrotown workers so they don’t lose desperately needed income supports amid the third wave of the pandemic.

Workers who are locked out receive lockout pay and are not eligible for EI. However, Hilton Metrotown has begun notifying laid-off workers who should continue receiving EI that their employment benefits have been paused because of the labour dispute. This impacts workers who have not worked a shift at the hotel in more than 8 months. Most of them were laid off when the pandemic struck.

“I’m deeply hurt and angry that Hilton Metrotown cut off our EI. I’ve only worked a few shifts, and EI still wasn’t enough to make ends meet during the time I was laid off. It’s clear that they’re trying to demolish our livelihoods and ability to feed our families. First you fire workers, then you lock us out. Now you’re cutting off our legal government assistance. Hilton Metrotown, how dare you treat your loyal workers like this during a pandemic! Have you no shame?” asked Kelsey Paul, a front desk agent who has worked at the hotel for 11 years.

Last week, the City of Burnaby passed a motion in support of the locked-out workers — with one Councillor calling the hotel’s actions “despicable” — urging the hotel to end the lockout and return workers to their jobs as business resumes.

CONTACT: Stephanie Fung, [email protected], 604-928-7356; or Michelle Travis, [email protected], 778-960-9785

#BCUnequalWomen

www.bcunequalwomen.org/bc-travel-alert/

###

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.

Job Opportunity: Administrative Assistant

UNITE HERE Local 40 is hiring an Admin Assistant!

UNITE HERE Local 40 is the voice of 50,000 hospitality workers across British Columbia. They are housekeepers, bellmen, food servers, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders and many other employees in the tourism and food service industries. 

Local 40 has a proud history of community involvement and a strong commitment to improving working conditions, wages, and benefits for all workers.

Local 40 is presently seeking an Administrative Assistant. This position reports to the Office Director and is a probationary term leading to a permanent position.

Description:    ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Job Responsibilities (include but are not limited to the following): 

  • Complete multiple responsibilities on a daily basis
  • Written and verbal communications with members, staff and employers
  • Organize and schedule appointments/meetings
  • Assistance with coordinating special events and projects
  • Book travel arrangements
  • Submit and reconcile expense reports
  • Answering incoming telephone calls and retrieving daily messages
  • Maintain filing system
  • Order office supplies and research new deals and suppliers
  • Generate necessary reports as required 
  • Other duties as assigned

Job Requirements/Qualifications: The requirements listed below represent the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • 2 ­ 3 years experience in related field
  • Knowledge of office management systems and procedures
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office: Excel, Word, Access; Mac & PC
  • Working knowledge of office equipment; e.g., printers, fax machines, and copiers
  • Demonstrated excellent organizational skills and high capacity for attention to details.
  • Passionate belief in the importance of trade unions for raising the quality of life for working people
  • Desire to contribute to the labour movement’s effort to create a more just and equitable society
  • Proficient data entry
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize work
  • Ability to work independently within the context of a plan
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills; must work well with others
  • Assist with company financials and ability to provide insight on how to work efficiently in a busy and fast paced environment.
  • Compiling reports and spreadsheets and preparing spreadsheets
  • Must be able to maneuver effectively through Excel using formulas, properly and accurately manage staff expense reimbursements, and have basic knowledge of employee provincial/federal laws.
  • Welcome newly hired employees to the organization by conducting initial orientation.
  • Provide payroll information by collecting time and attendance records.
  • Bookkeeping/accounting experience is preferable but not required.

Please submit a resume and references, along with a cover letter, to Paul Voykin at [email protected] with “Administrative Assistant Application” in the subject line.  Please include your available start date in the cover letter. Position is available immediately.