In 2020, Pan Pacific Hotel workers in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada voted strongly in favour of joining IUF affiliate UNITE HERE, and the government certified the union’s formation earlier this year. During the pandemic, the hotel fired 100 long-term laid-off workers, mostly women and immigrant workers from Asia, without cause or advance notice. Between rounds of firings, hotel management gave workers a deadline to sign away their regular full-time status to become on-call, casual workers, or face termination. The hotel’s actions have prompted workers to file two new class action lawsuits, and the IUF is presently coordinating solidarity actions across hotel affiliates.
Together, workers are fighting for:
- The right of laid-off workers to return to their pre-pandemic jobs, with their seniority intact, as business recovers
- A fair first collective bargaining agreement with the hotel, owned by Westmont Hospitality Group, one of the world’s largest privately held hospitality companies
UNITE HERE Local 40 president Zailda Chan stated, “Pan Pacific Vancouver workers who cleaned rooms, cooked meals, and served guests for decades are being treated as if they’re disposable. For Westmont to treat workers this way, especially during a pandemic, is unacceptable. The hotel must commit to rehire their staff as work becomes available and respect workers’ right to bargain collectively. The time for action is now.”