Hotel workers at Hilton Metrotown in Burnaby were locked out by their employer just hours after staging a one-day strike on Thursday to protest what their union has called “mass firings” in a long-running labour dispute.
The union says the employer has refused to commit to return 97 long-term workers back to their jobs as business recovers. The lockout impacts all Hilton Metrotown workers including room attendants, front desk agents, laundry attendants, kitchen staff and other hourly workers. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.
“Hilton Metrotown is taking women and racialized workers hostage in order to impose permanent changes during the pandemic. When workers refused to accept management’s plan to get rid of their co-workers, the hotel fired them and locked out the rest. This hotel wants to undermine the economic security of women and immigrant workers who put this hotel on the map. We won’t let them get away with that,” said Zailda Chan, president of UNITE HERE Local 40.
“It is truly disheartening that hotel management has chosen to lock us out instead of working with us to get through the pandemic,” said Sergio Moyer, a locked-out front desk supervisor who has worked at the hotel since it opened. “The lengths at which Hilton Metrotown will go to destroy the good jobs we built over 20 years of working together is unacceptable.”
Earlier this month, the union held a press conference that included Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, who urged Hilton management to reconsider the layoffs.
“Get back to the table, deal with the layoff and recall provision of the contract, extend that until after this pandemic is over and allow these workers the dignity to return to their jobs as they all want to do,” Hurley said.
The hotel is owned by DSDL Canada Investments, a subsidiary of South Korean-based DSDL Co., and operated by Crescent Hotels & Resorts which is headquartered in the U.S.