Similar resolution adopted by New Westminster City Council this week
Vancouver, BC – Today, Victoria City Council unanimously passed a motion to support laid-off hospitality workers and called for a return to their jobs as business recovers. Councillor Sharmarke Dubow introduced the motion after some B.C. hotels, such as Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina, recently terminated laid-off workers. The City of Victoria is the second municipality in the province to pass the motion.
Noting how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and impacted BC’s 50,000 hotel workers, the majority of whom are women and people of colour, the motion requests that the City write to the Ministers of Labour and Tourism expressing its support for the right of workers to return to their jobs when the pandemic eases.
The motion, which refers to B.C. hotels refusing to commit to bring workers back to their jobs, affirmed that workers should not lose their livelihoods due to the pandemic. It calls on the City to encourage other B.C. municipalities to show their support for hospitality workers and urges the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to host future conferences and events in venues that respect workers’ rights.
“The Victoria City Council sent a strong message today that hotel workers deserve the right to return their jobs when business recovers. Women and people of colour who predominantly work in this sector will fall further behind in the economic recovery unless our communities step up. We’re calling on other municipalities to join us to ensure hotel workers do not lose their livelihoods because of the pandemic,” said Victoria City Councillor Sharmarke Dubow.
Earlier this week, New Westminster Council unanimously passed a similar resolution, introduced by Councillor Nadine Nakagawa. That motion also calls on the City of New Westminster to support the right of laid off workers to return to their jobs as business conditions improve. It also urges the City to contact the Lower Mainland Local Government Association and UBCM about holding events in worker friendly venues that pay a living wage.
UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service, construction camps, and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.