Job Posting: UNITE HERE Local 40 Political/Community Campaign Organizer

UNITE HERE Local 40 is seeking a political/community campaign organizer to support organizing and collective bargaining campaigns. This Organizer will lead solidarity-building efforts in support of these campaigns, represent the union in coalition and political initiatives, and assist with other aspects of the union’s programs.

This position will also include conducting industry, corporate, real estate and political research and analysis to develop and carry out campaigns focused on winning economic justice for low wage, primarily migrant hospitality workers. Our campaigns organize non-union workers and secure improved standards for existing union members in the hotel and food service industries.

Job responsibilities will include:

  • Assist workers and staff in all aspects of organizing and contract campaigns.
  • Build relationships and communicate with elected officials, community organizations, and others.
  • Train rank and file workers to lead meetings with community organizations.
  • Organize demonstrations and actions in support of union campaigns.
  • Represent Local 40 in labor councils and other coalitions.
  • Communicate and build relationships with a wide variety of players including community organizations, other labour unions, company officials, hotel customers, government staff and elected leaders
  • Develop and carry out campaign strategies and tactics
  • Work with UNITE HERE members, organizers, regional staff and elected leaders; assist in moving campaigns forward through organizing, leading actions, doing political work, as needed.
  • Research companies using a wide variety of sources, including published databases, on-line and Internet sources
  • Conduct local and field research on companies, industries and/or real estate development projects
  • Develop company analyses and adapt them for various audiences (e.g. leadership & staff, workers, stockholders, political & regulatory bodies, the public)

Desired Qualifications include:

  • Significant experience in community organizing, particularly in relation to labor issues;
  • Passion for, and commitment to, fighting for workers’ rights
  • Ability to work effectively with organizers and regional leaders required;
  • Ability to work under pressure, including long hours and weekends as needed;
  • Strong analytical, writing, computer and interpersonal/organizing skills
  • University degree or relevant research and/or activist experience (labour, political, urban planning, or community/campus.
  • Travel as needed;
  • Familiarity with database and word processing software
  • Reliable car and driver’s license (Optional though preferred)

Current UNITE HERE political/community campaigners have worked in the past as community and union organizers, urban planners, journalists, teachers, and researchers.

If interested, please email your resume and cover letter to Mike Biskar at [email protected] by Dec. 11, 2020. Women, LGBTQ, and People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary is commensurate with experience. Positions include health and retirement benefits.

Protected: Oct. 28: Membership Meeting Documents

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Press Release: UNITE HERE urges federal government to “Put Workers First” in bailouts of hospitality, aviation sectors

Contacts:
Melissa Sobers, [email protected], (416) 200-0207 (Toronto & Ottawa)
Stephanie Fung, [email protected], (604) 928-7356 (Vancouver)

UNITE HERE urges federal government to “Put Workers First” in bailouts  of hospitality, aviation sectors

Vancouver – Today, hospitality workers held rallies in hard-hit tourism markets – Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa – and called on the Trudeau government to condition any industry bailouts of the hospitality and aviation sectors on provisions to preserve workers’ jobs.  The government’s recent Throne Speech committed to providing support for the hard-hit tourism, hospitality, and aviation sectors.

UNITE HERE! Canada is urging the government to condition targeted sectoral bailouts on employers’ full participation in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to cover their active and furloughed workers; assurances that laid-off workers have a right to return to their jobs for up to 24 months; and worker retention to secure the jobs of contracted workers in Canada’s airports.  Few hospitality employers are using CEWS to cover furloughed workers as the program was intended. Without protections, most laid-off workers will not have a right to return to their jobs once the industry recovers.

Workers demonstrated outside the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and the St. Regis Toronto, while Ottawa Marriott workers held a virtual rally.  The hotels are owned by InnVest, Canada’s largest hotel owner.  InnVest CEO Lydia Chen sits on board of Hotel Association of Canada which is lobbying for bailout relief alongside airline and airport industry associations.

Heavily indebted hotel owners like InnVest stand to benefit from industry bailouts while thousands of workers face permanent layoffs. If past economic shocks are any guide, financial supports will help hotel investors and corporate interests pay their lenders but will not help laid-off workers remain attached to their jobs.  Many of Canada’s hospitality and aviation sector workers have been laid-off since March and have not been recalled to their jobs.  Industry experts suggest recovery of travel and tourism sectors may not begin in earnest until 2022 or later.

Randy Yadao, Laid-off Laundry Houseperson, Ottawa Marriott Hotel:

“My wife and I work in the hotel industry. It’s been hard for both of us to support our daughters and our family needs. Since being laid off we’re trying to save the best we can but without a job, I don’t know if we can still support our daughters’ dreams and give them a good education. It’s not our fault what’s happening right now. We work hard. I hope the government will make sure workers are recalled and tie bailouts to the wage subsidy.”

Leonora Mulholland, Laid-off room attendant, Fairmont Royal York (Toronto):

“I’ve worked at this hotel for 21 years. I cannot lose my job. This is about job security, knowing that I’ll have something to go back to after this pandemic passes and having my medical benefits contributions restored.  I rely on many types of medication to survive and to support my special needs son, I can’t do this without some sense of security. The federal government must keep their promise to workers. We’ve given so much to this hotel, to this city, and to this entire economy. Will they leave us behind?”

Naden Abenes, Laid-off room attendant, Hyatt Regency Vancouver:

“We have invested years of hard work to make this hotel successful.  We are always there for Hyatt and InnVest when they need us.  Now that times are hard, they won’t put us on the wage subsidy program and are refusing to give us 24 months to return to our jobs.  If we had recall protections or the wage subsidy, we would have some security.  These hotel companies shouldn’t get government bailout money if they won’t help us keep our jobs.”

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UNITE HERE! Canada represents over 18,000 workers across the nation who work in the hotel, food service, airport, and gaming sectors.

Media Advisory: Laid-off hospitality workers to hold actions in Toronto, Ottawa, & Vancouver; urge government to “Put Workers First” in any industry bailout

WHAT:

The Throne Speech outlined commitments to support the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sector. Canada’s largest hotel owner, InnVest Hotels, stands to benefit from industry bailouts while workers at their hotels are kicked off CEWS and face permanent layoffs. Laid-off hotel workers from InnVest-owned hotels, will hold multi-city actions to call attention to the need to put workers at the centre of any industry bailout.

WHO:

Laid-off hospitality workers in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver, represented by the union for hospitality workers, UNITE HERE Canada.

WHEN:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

WHERE:

Toronto:  Demonstration at The St. Regis Toronto
325 Bay Street, Toronto
11AM ET

Ottawa:  Ottawa Marriott workers’ Action & Virtual Rally
Petition delivery – 10:30 AM ET
100 Kent St., Ottawa
Virtual Rally – 11 AM ET

Vancouver:  Press Conference and Demonstration at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver
655 Burrard Street, Vancouver
12:30PM PT

WHY:

Canada’s travel and tourism workers were among the first and hardest hit by the economic impact of Covid-19.  They will also be the last to return, with industry analysts suggesting recovery may not begin in earnest until 2022.  The government may soon announce details on targeted industry supports but if past economic shocks are any guide, financial supports will help hotel investors and corporate interests pay their lenders but will not help laid-off workers remain attached to their jobs.

Contacts:
Stephanie Fung, [email protected], (604) 928-7356 (Vancouver)
Melissa Sobers, [email protected], (416) 200-0207 (Toronto & Ottawa)

UNITE HERE represents over 18,000 members across Canada who work in the hotel, food service, airport, and gaming sectors.

Statement from Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40, regarding BC’s economic recovery plan

For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2020

The provincial government’s economic recovery plan offers nothing of substance to protect the jobs of hospitality workers who have been laid off or terminated due to Covid. The takeaway from this plan is that BC’s hospitality workers are on their own.

While we can support economic assistance to hospitality employers, this should have been tied to a legally enforceable guarantee that if a business accepts tax dollars in any form you will return your laid-off staff when business improves.

The province could easily support job security for all of BC’s laid-off hospitality workers by granting workers a legal right of return to their pre-Covid jobs as conditions improve.  We have seen similar measures successfully implemented across the border in San Francisco, Los Angeles County and elsewhere. It would provide some certainty to laid-off workers and, more importantly, would not cost the province a dime.

The province’s offer of jobs to hospitality workers in long-term care is a small gesture, but it leaves 47,000 hospitality workers to fend for themselves with no legal rights to get their jobs back, instead of being replaced as business recovers.

We look forward to learning more about the Tourism Task Force and how the province plans to reconnect laid-off workers to their jobs so that employers do not replace them with new lower wage workers when conditions improve.

Media Contacts:
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.