Richmond City Council Adopts Resolution to Not Do Business with Pacific Gateway Hotel

Richmond, BC — Richmond City Council has adopted a resolution to not give any business to Pacific Gateway Hotel until hotel management reaches an agreement with UNITE HERE, the union representing workers who have been on strike for 13 months. The resolution comes after a delegation of striking Pacific Gateway hotel workers appeared and spoke before Richmond City Council in April to urge City Councillors not to spend any public money at the hotel.

The city informed the union and the hotel owner, PHI Hotel Group, of Council’s resolution in a letter this week. The resolution was adopted at a Council meeting on May 9.

During the pandemic, PHI Hotel Group allowed the federal government to use Pacific Gateway as a quarantine site. The feds pulled out in January 2022 citing concerns over the hotel’s treatment of workers. Workers went on strike in May 2021 after the hotel terminated 143 long-term staff during the height of COVID-19. The B.C. Federation of Labour has endorsed a boycott of the hotel.

Most of the terminated Pacific Gateway workers are women. A terminated housekeeper filed a human rights complaint against the hotel last year on behalf of herself and 89 other women for wrongful firings on the basis of sex and racial discrimination. UNITE HERE Local 40 launched the B.C. Unequal Women campaign to highlight how women have borne the brunt of pandemic terminations in the hospitality industry. Since the launch of the campaign, hotels across B.C. have agreed to bring their workers back to their pre-pandemic jobs, including Hilton Metrotown which recently resolved a 13-month lockout. Pacific Gateway has refused to return workers, many of whom live in Richmond, to their jobs,

“I’m happy that Richmond City Council decided to adopt the resolution,” said Treva Martell, a terminated server from Pacific Gateway hotel and a Richmond resident. “We’re the ones who built up this hotel and made it its name. I’m glad Council understands this is bad for Richmond residents and bad for business. Their decision sends a strong message that they will not condone the hotel’s actions. Thank you to Richmond City Councillors for standing behind us workers. It means so much to me.”

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


UNITE HERE Local 40 is a labour union representing workers in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at

Former Pan Pacific Hotel Worker Jerty Fernandez Gaa Wins City of Vancouver 2022 Awards of Excellence Diversity and Inclusion Award

Vancouver, BC — Jerty Fernandez Gaa, a terminated hotel worker from Pan Pacific Vancouver, has been awarded a City of Vancouver Diversity and Inclusion Award under the 2022 Awards of Excellence program. Jerty led a successful campaign to unionize her hotel in 2020 and is an advocate of the B.C. Unequal Women campaign, speaking out against racism, sexism, and discrimination against women in the hospitality industry.

While a public area attendant at Pan Pacific, she led union organizing efforts among her co-workers across all departments to improve job conditions and security. Workers at Pan Pacific started organizing to join the union in summer 2020. During the pandemic, around 100 workers, many of them long-term women of colour, were terminated. A lawsuit was filed against the hotel over wrongful terminations last year and was given the green light by a B.C. Supreme Court judge to proceed as a class action.

Jerty raised her children as a single mother of four. After 11 years of service at Pan Pacific, she was terminated along with her co-workers when the pandemic struck. She decided to advocate on behalf of all terminated workers through the B.C. Unequal Women Campaign to stand up for workers who experienced unequal economic impacts of COVID-19. In BC’s hospitality industry alone, 50,000 hotel workers lost their jobs in 2020, and many were not returned to their pre-pandemic jobs. Instead of bringing them back as business resumed, some hotels fired their long-term workforce — many of whom are women of colour.

Jerty Fernandez Gaa, terminated hotel worker from Pan Pacific Vancouver:
“It is such an honour to receive this award from the City of Vancouver. Thank you so much to UNITE HERE Local 40 for nominating me, and to my former colleagues, friends, and family, who have supported and stood beside me in the fight to protect the jobs of hospitality workers. This award is for all of us, and I will keep on speaking out and advocating for myself and my co-workers until we get our jobs back!”

Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40:
“Since workers at Pan Pacific Vancouver organized to form a union, Jerty is one of the most resilient leaders to emerge from that campaign. Her determination to fight for all hospitality workers during the pandemic, even after she was wrongfully terminated in the face of adversity, is inspiring.”

Jean Swanson, Vancouver City Councillor:
“Jerty truly deserves this award and is a shining example of what it means to never give up. I have followed the B.C, Unequal Women campaign since it launched, and with Jerty at the forefront, hundreds of women in the hospitality industry from diverse backgrounds have stood up to protect their jobs and fight for better futures for their families.”

Media contact: Stephanie Fung,, 604-928-7356




ATCO Blue River Camp Workers Reach Union Contract

Workers at Trans Mountain pipeline secure deal including 10-22% wage increases immediately, following ATCO Valemount Camp Workers

Blue River, B.C. — Camp workers in Blue River, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40,  have ratified a standard-setting union contract with ATCO by a 96% “yes” vote. Blue River camp is the second unionized ATCO camp on the Trans Mountain pipeline. The agreement includes wage increases of up to 22% immediately depending on classifications, housekeeping workload protections, free and improved health care coverage, and up to $455 per month in travel pay for some workers.

The agreement with ATCO covers frontline workers who cook, clean, sanitize, and maintain the Trans Mountain pipeline camp. The union bargaining committee achieved their first two-year collective agreement after workers formed a union in March this year. First cooks will be making $31.40 and second cooks $29.40 in less than a year, with retroactive bonuses for most workers.

“I’m so glad that we ATCO Blue River workers united as a team to win this contract. Everybody was on the same page. The company was very cooperative with us when we started a union all the way up to reaching the contract. Now, with more money in my pocket I can pay my personal bills, and care for my wife and daughter,” said Sandeep Erri, a First Cook at ATCO Blue River camp.

This new agreement comes after ATCO Valemount camp workers reached a historic contract with similar wage increases and job protections this past March. Valemount camp was the first unionized ATCO camp on the Trans Mountain pipeline. With hundreds of newly organized camp members including those at Civeo, Horizon North Kitimat, Kitimat LNG, and Parsnip Lodge, UNITE HERE Local 40 is the fastest growing camp workers’ union in B.C.

Media Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356,


UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality and camp workers’ union and represents members in construction camps and the hotel, food service, and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at

As Tourism Bounces Back, Pacific Gateway Workers Hold Mass Protest Marking Year-long Strike

Hotel refuses to return 143 terminated staff to pre-pandemic jobs

Richmond, BC — Pacific Gateway hotel workers and community allies rallied today, to commemorate one year of being on strike. Workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, have been on the picket line every day since May 3, 2021, to fight back against mass terminations and economic rollbacks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific Gateway terminated 143 staff while the hotel was used as a federal quarantine site. The majority of affected workers are women, some with up to 45 years of service. The federal government left the hotel earlier this year after workers urged them to move.

The mass action at Pacific Gateway comes on the heels of a settlement of the year-long Hilton Metrotown labour dispute. Unlike Pacific Gateway, Hilton Metrotown agreed to a process to return 97 workers terminated during the pandemic to their jobs. Dozens of other unionized hotels across B.C. have made similar commitments to protect workers’ jobs.

The 380-room Pacific Gateway, owned by PHI Hotel Group, fired a majority of its employees while the hotel was used to quarantine travellers. That included 90% of its housekeeping staff, many of whom are women of colour. One of the affected room attendants filed a human rights complaint against the hotel last year on behalf of 90 terminated women on the basis of sex and race discrimination.

Ravinder Binning, a room attendant who served the hotel for 17 years: “Hilton Metrotown finally agreed to return their long-term workers to their jobs after a year-long lockout, and many other hotels did the same thing months ago. What’s wrong with Pacific Gateway? It’s shocking to think how all other hotels are set to make a comeback this summer with travellers coming to B.C. as restrictions ease, but Pacific Gateway still refuses to bring us, their loyal long-term staff, back. We’re the ones who made this hotel successful and we’re not going to give up. That’s why I’m on the picket line, determined to get my job back!”

Heriberta Ramirez, a banquet captain of 30 years at the Pacific Gateway hotel: “We’ve been on strike for a year now. Pacific Gateway needs to wake up! I can’t believe we are still on the picket line as other hotel workers across the province are being recalled to their jobs. This hotel has been serving hotel guests since the pandemic started. Pacific Gateway should be ashamed for treating us workers with disrespect. At a time when there is a labour shortage, this hotel should be returning us to work.”

For additional information, please contact:
Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356,


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

Hilton Metrotown Workers Win Contract Ending B.C.’s Longest Hotel Lockout 

97 Terminated Staff Win Right to Return to Jobs

Burnaby, B.C. — Hilton Metrotown hotel workers locked out since April 15, 2021, voted today to ratify a new contract by a 98% yes vote. The vote to approve this groundbreaking three-year collective bargaining agreement ends the picket line outside of the hotel and returns staff to their jobs. The 391-day lockout at Hilton Metrotown has been the longest hotel lockout in B.C.’s history.

Hilton Metrotown workers won full recall rights for 97 terminated workers without loss of seniority or wages. Reinstating workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic was a top issue during the labour dispute. The new agreement preserves housekeeping jobs and restores daily room cleaning which will help ensure safer workloads and improve guest experience. Other achievements include wage increases plus a special bonus, protection of union health and pension benefits, new protection for gratuities, and stronger recall protections for the future. The new collective agreement expires on May 31, 2025.

Liza Secretaria, a night auditor and union bargaining committee member from Hilton Metrotown: “I feel so proud of myself and my co-workers. We went through so much together during the lockout and the pandemic, but we’re stronger than ever now that we have fought for our co-workers to return and won a fair contract. Thank you to everyone who supported us. I am very excited to return to my job and serve guests again. We have shown Hilton Metrotown and other hotels in B.C. that hotel workers will stand up for respect and justice to raise standards in the industry.”

Sergio Moyer, Guest Services Lead and union bargaining committee member from Hilton Metrotown: “I’m so proud of the solidarity of our members, the community, and the labour movement for their support and strength in achieving this win. We’re ready to return to the Hilton Metrotown to do what we do best: serving our guests. Today marks a monumental day for our union as we’ve been fighting on the picket line for 391 days straight. We are overjoyed with the response to the ratification and results.”

Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40: “Hilton Metrotown workers stayed united on the picket line for over a year, truly exemplifying the meaning of solidarity. This was a hard-fought victory and the new contract sets us on a positive path with the hotel. Workers mobilized massive community support to boycott the hotel and sent a strong message to the hospitality industry that no worker should be treated like they’re disposable.”

Across B.C., workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 have won the right to return to their pre-pandemic jobs. With a settlement secured at Hilton Metrotown, the Pacific Gateway Hotel remains an outlier. Local 40 will hold a rally to mark the one-year long strike at Pacific Gateway Hotel on May 12, 2022. Pacific Gateway terminated 70% of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and demanded drastic rollbacks similar to what workers fought back at Hilton Metrotown.

Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356,


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