Workers Report Discrimination on the Basis of Sex and Race at Pan Pacific Vancouver

Vancouver, B.C. —  Several hotel housekeepers have filed a human rights complaint against the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel over sex and racial discrimination on behalf of women affected by mass firings. The complaint alleges that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel’s mass terminations disparately impacted women of colour while men’s jobs were more likely to be protected.  

Women were impacted by Pan Pacific Hotel’s actions, according to the complaint. The luxury downtown hotel located at Canada Place fired around 100 long-term workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the total number of women fired since June 2020, 94% are women of colour. Many of them worked in the housekeeping department. 

Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel is owned by an affiliate of Westmont Hospitality Group. Westmont is one of the world’s largest privately held hospitality companies, with over 400 hotels worldwide. Westmont tapped the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program but fired workers anyway. Despite their vast wealth, they have taken over $42 million worth of publicly-funded Covid relief across North America. Westmont owns three other hotels in downtown Vancouver: the JW Marriott, the Douglas, and Fairmont Waterfront. The JW Marriott and Fairmont Waterfront also fired workers.

“It’s shocking how my hotel fired us — and worse that they fired mostly women of colour. We’ve worked there for decades to make the Pan Pacific successful. One time, an American guest even gave me a $100 US bill when he saw that I worked hard through the entire night. The hotel should be ashamed if the guests knew what the Pan Pacific is doing to us now,” said Jerty Gaa, a fired Pan Pacific public area attendant who served the hotel for 11 years.

The complaint filed on behalf of the women is seeking reinstatement of all group members to their jobs at the Pan Pacific, compensation for lost wages and injury to dignity, an order against the hotel to stop the discrimination and an admission of their discriminatory behaviour, and steps taken to address racism and sexism at the hotel. 

A lawsuit was filed by a long-term Pan Pacific hotel worker in January this year over wrongful terminations, and a second one was filed by workers in April over breach of contract. UNITE HERE Local 40 represents workers at the Pan Pacific hotel.

For additional information, please contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected], 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.

 

Civeo Breaches Labour Code, Steering GasLink & Trans Mountain Camp Workers to Join Union Selected by Employer

Kitimat, BC —The BC Labour Relations Board has just ruled that industrial camp operator Civeo gave improper support to the BC Regional Council of Carpenters and unduly influenced workers against UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s camp workers union.

“The Employer first contacted the BCRCC (BC Regional Council of Carpenters) immediately after Local 40 gave the Employer notice of its intention to organize through its access request. It did so in response to Local 40 access request and, I find, in the hopes that doing so would cause Local 40 to abandon its attempt to organize the Employer’s employees, or would otherwise prevent Local 40 from successfully organizing its employees. The result was to tilt the playing field towards BCRCC and away from Local 40, thus interfering with its employees’ ability to freely choose their representative,” was one of the Labour Boards’ findings.

“This Labour Board’s decision is a victory for all camp and construction workers that they should be able to choose their own union without employers picking a union for them”, said Robert Demand, Executive Director at UNITE HERE and an Executive Board Member of the BC Building Trades. “Finally, UNITE HERE organizers can meet with camp workers and allow these cooks, camp attendants and others to decide if they want a union. I think they’ll be very interested in a fighting union like ours.”

In June 2021, UNITE HERE Local 40 advised Civeo that they intended to visit and organize their non-union camp employees. In response, Civeo denied Local 40 access to their camps, picked the BC Regional Council of Carpenters to negotiate a contract, and stopped workers from their right to choose which union, if any, to join.

The Labour Board agreed with Local 40 that Civeo interfered and now the Civeo/Carpenters contract has been cancelled. Civeo must now allow UNITE HERE Local 40 into the 7 Mile, 9A and P2 Lodges on the GasLink pipeline and the Trans Mountain Merritt Camp to speak to employees about joining BC’s camp workers union.

UNITE HERE Local 40 already represents Civeo workers at Sitka Lodge in Kitimat, along with other camp workers supporting LNG in Kitimat and the GasLink pipeline.

UNITE HERE Local 40 has been advising shareholders and First Nation community allies about Civeo’s behavior at Sitka Lodge over the past two months.

Monika Schuster, Civeo worker and UNITE HERE Local 40 Job Steward from Sitka Lodge: “I’m so glad that these Civeo workers will now have the path to join the union of their choice.  All camp workers deserve a living wage for the hard work we put in to build a better BC! I encourage them to join our UNITE HERE Local 40 family.”

 

Media Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected]

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UNITE HERE Local 40 is the camp and hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the industrial camps, hotels, food service and airports throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.

 

 

Coast Bastion Hotel Workers Escalate Protest, Deliver Petition to Hotel Management

Nanaimo, B.C. — Today, dozens of Coast Bastion hotel workers and community allies escalated their protest at the Coast Bastion by delivering a petition signed by workers to hotel management. With momentum on their side, they announced that if the hotel continues to mistreat workers, they will move towards multiple actions including calling a customer boycott of the hotel. The Coast Bastion is using the pandemic to eliminate the practice of daily room cleaning, and destroy wages and job security. Coast Bastion hotel workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

“We are thoroughly disappointed with hotel management. The Coast Bastion is attempting to use the pandemic to strip provisions from our contract at a time when they should be helping us get through the crisis. While our fight is for all the workers who have made this hotel successful, our housekeepers are the backbone of the hospitality industry. It’s outrageous that they’re being abused with an excessive workload — and getting hurt because of the hotel’s inhumane actions. Coast Bastion: treat us with respect, not like we’re just a number,” said Paul Suffron, who has worked in the maintenance department at the Coast Bastion for five years.

Coast Bastion fired nearly 50 long-term staff in December and refuses to commit to bring them back as business recovers. This September, 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


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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.

Coast Bastion Hotel Workers to Hold Rally: “No More Pandemic Profiteering!”

Nanaimo, B.C. — Today, October 7, workers are escalating action at the Coast Bastion with a protest to stop hotel management’s attacks on good jobs. This comes after a spirited rally last week at the hotel. With momentum on their side, workers are planning further action if the hotel fails to address their concerns regarding wages, housekeeping workload protections, and job security. In December 2020, Coast Bastion refused to bring long-term staff back to their jobs and instead fired nearly 50 workers. While Coast Bastion seeks to profit from the pandemic, over 1000 BC hospitality workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, won recall rights and protections for union health care and pension, in a four-year agreement with Hospitality Industrial Relations.

WHAT: Coast Bastion hotel workers and allies to hold protest. 

WHERE: Coast Bastion Hotel, 11 Bastion St., Nanaimo

WHEN: Thursday, October 7, 5:30 p.m

VISUALS:     Hotel workers and supporters chanting in megaphones and 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] 

#BCUnequalWomen
www.bcunequalwomen.org 

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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.

Job Postings: Organizer and Campaign Researcher

Organizer – Vancouver

UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s union for hospitality workers, is seeking an experienced organizer to work locally in Vancouver on aggressive campaigns. Organizers work with volunteers and unorganized workers to build the leadership and solidarity necessary to build a progressive and strong labour union.

UNITE HERE is a progressive labour union, representing more than 270,000 workers in the hotel and food service industries across North America. These industries employ large numbers of women, recent immigrants and people of colour. For more information on UNITE HERE, please visit www.unitehere.org

Innovative organizing campaigns, deep rank-and-file member engagement and leadership development, as well as our strong training program make UNITE HERE an exciting place to create change and build power with workers in the service industry.

UNITE HERE’s goal is to not only organize non-union workers and win campaigns, but also to train effective progressive labour leaders and organizers who can develop creative and strategic campaigns to change the economic balance of power in North America.

Job Requirements:

– Commitment to fight for justice,

– Experience organizing workers, in particular within non-union environments,

– Experience in communication a media relation work,

– Experience in volunteer recruitment and coordination,

– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to move workers to take collective action and build power.

– Ability to carry out goals and meet timelines while demonstrating a high level of proven leadership and independent judgment within the context of an overall plan and structure;

– Bilingual desired (Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, or Punjabi)

– Willingness to work long hours, nights and weekends

– Valid driver’s license and own car.

– Previous experience as an organizer in the student, immigrant, LGBT, or environmental movement is valued.

Applications open immediately. Please send a cover letter and resume. Deadline November 1st, 2021.

Salary: $50,000.00 per year


Campaign Researcher – Vancouver

UNITE HERE Local 40 is seeking a talented Campaign Researcher to conduct corporate and industry research and analysis to carry out campaigns focused on winning economic justice for BC’s hospitality workers. UNITE HERE Local 40 is B.C.’s hospitality workers’ union and is leading the fight to organize the unorganized and at the forefront of campaigns for workers’ rights and quality jobs. 

We represent thousands of hospitality workers working in hotels, foodservice, remote resource camps, airports, and other venues across the province. We have a diverse membership that includes workers from many immigrant communities, and the majority of our members are women. We are affiliated with UNITE HERE, a progressive labour union, representing 300,000 hospitality workers across North America. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Conduct company, industry and real estate research using a wide variety of databases and online sources, as well as field work.  
  • Develop company analyses and adapt them for various audiences (e.g., leadership & staff, workers, investors, political & regulatory bodies, the public)
  • Identify and analyze new development projects in our industries 
  • Communicate and build relationships with a wide variety of players including community organizations, industry representatives, customers, policy makers, and elected officials. 
  • Develop and carry out campaign strategies and tactics
  • Work with UNITE HERE members, organizers, staff, and elected leaders; assist in moving campaigns forward through organizing, leading actions, doing political work, as needed.

Qualifications include:

  • Passion for, and commitment to, fighting for workers’ rights 
  • BA degree and relevant research and/or activist experience (e.g., labour, political, urban planning, or community/campus)
  • Strong analytical skills, writing, computer, and interpersonal/organizing skills
  • Willingness to work long and sometimes irregular hours; some travel will be required.
  • Proficient with database and word processing software
  • Ability to learn quickly, work well on a team, and handle competing priorities with deadlines
  • Driver’s license

UNITE HERE Campaign Researchers have worked in the past as community and union organizers, journalists, urban planners, teachers, and researchers elsewhere.  

Location: Vancouver, BC

Position: Full-time

Contact: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume with references, and a writing sample to [email protected].  Resumes without a cover letter or writing sample will not be considered.