Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel workers continue to fight for their co-workers unfairly terminated during the pandemic and for their first collective bargaining agreement. Workers joined IUF affiliate UNITE HERE after the hotel, owned by an affiliate of Westmont Hospitality Group, terminated nearly 100 workers at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, despite receiving pandemic-related wage subsidies from the Canadian government.
The hotel’s pandemic firings largely impacted women – 94% of them women of colour. Many of the workers immigrated to Canada from the Global South.
In December, Pan Pacific Vancouver workers prevailed on two key legal fronts:
- A British Columbia Supreme Court judge allowed a lawsuit filed by a former Pan Pacific concierge to proceed as a class action; the concierge, who worked at the hotel for over 20 years, brought the lawsuit alleging wrongful termination of approximately 100 employees and that severance compensation rules required under provincial law were circumvented
- The Labour Relations Board ruled against the employer over management’s effort to exclude approximately 115 on-call workers from the bargaining unit
UNITE HERE Local 40 President Zailda Chan stated, “Workers at this hotel have fought for nearly two years to have a voice on the job. Their vote to unionize was certified in February 2021. Management disrespects the workers when they ignore demands for fair housekeeping workloads, wage increases, and the right of laid-off workers to return to their pre-pandemic jobs. It’s time to negotiate now!”