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Burnaby hotel workers escalate job action to roll back 'mass firings'

Strike at Hilton hotel in Burnaby

A group of Burnaby hotel workers have escalated their strike action in the wake of what they called “mass firings” stemming from COVID-19 impacts on tourism.

Workers at the Hilton hotel in Metrotown in Burnaby have initiated a partial strike action over job security.

More than 97% of 145 workers at the hotel recently voted in favour of a strike, according to union Unite Here Local 40. The workers claim Hilton has refused to extend workers’ right to return to their jobs beyond 12 months.

The workers announced today they will be urging prospective hotel guests not to patronize the hotel. They are escalating their job action after the hotel permanently laid off dozens of workers. The permanent layoffs affect long-serving immigrant workers, the union said, many of them women disproportionately impacted by the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

“For 21 years, I have served guests at Hilton Metrotown,” said Angelica Hernandez, a laid-off banquet server. “I’m a single mom and raised my son on this job. I’m stressed about my future and worried about my co-workers who are single moms with families to support. Customers would be shocked to hear how we’re being treated during the pandemic. Until Hilton agrees to honour our years of service, we want customers to take their business to other hotels.”

Hilton representatives have previously declined to comment to Glacier Media as negotiations continue.

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