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Burnaby hotel workers walk off job in one-day strike action after 'mass firings'

The decision to strike comes after hotel management recently terminated nearly 100 long-term employees

About 40 Hilton Metrotown employees walked off the job this morning (Thursday) in support of the nearly 100 coworkers that were laid off by the hotel earlier this month - an action the union calls "mass firings."

Earlier this month, Hilton Metrotown laid-off 97 long-term employees and issued a 72-hour lockout notice. As a result UNITE HERE Local 40 the union for hospitality workers in B.C., called on other unions and politicians to condemn the hotel chain’s actions. The escalation of the strike action was made after hotel management refused the group’s requests to return the workers’ jobs after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic comes to an end. As the job action continues throughout the day those who walked out will be joined by 40-50 more of their already terminated colleagues.

“Management is threatening to fire more long-term staff to induce them to accept a two-tier wage structure with replacement workers earning minimum wage. This disproportionately impacts women and people of colour already bearing the economic brunt of the COVID-19 crisis,” a press release from UNITE HERE Local 40 states.

The strike action began at 8 a.m. and a socially distanced rally and car caravan begin at 5 p.m. Workers will be socially distanced and picketing with signs, banners, drums, and other noisemakers. Car Caravan with cars covered in signs and honking around Kingsway and Willingdon Avenue.