Unite Here Local 40’s members protesting in Victoria. They will be at Tourism Minister Lisa Beare’s office Thursday. (Black Press files)

Hunger strikers moving to Beare’s office

Laid off hotel workers will protest in Maple Ridge

A group of hunger strikers will be demonstrating outside Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare’s office in Maple Ridge on Thursday.

“Fasting hotel workers and their allies will hold a demonstration outside Tourism Minister Lisa Beare’s office to urge the government to protect 50,000 hotel jobs,” said a press release from Unite Here Local 40.

At noon, laid off hotel workers and their supporters will be at the office, located at 20130 Lougheed Hwy.

Hotel workers have been fasting on the lawn of the BC Legislature since Aug. 10, and the “Fast for Our Jobs” hunger strike plan to arrive in Maple Ridge tomorrow with signs and bullhorns, and could be at Beare’s office a while.

“While the government considers the tourism industry’s request for a $680 million bailout, businesses are firing their long-term, laid-off staff,” said the union release. “Hotel workers are urging Minister Beare and the province to protect hotel workers laid-off due to the pandemic. The fasters will encamp outside Beare’s office beginning Aug. 27 and continue their hunger strike until the government grants workers a legal right to return to their jobs.”

The hospitality industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month the workers delivered a petition to Beare, and visited the office of Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith.

READ ALSO: ‘Protect our jobs,” say laid-off hotel workers to MLA Lisa Beare

“I can understand the concerns of these workers, and I can only imagine the stress that this uncertainty is causing them and their families,” said D’Eith. “Our government has worked to ensure that laid off workers get the supports they need, but we’ve also been very clear that COVID-19 is not an excuse for employers to ignore their obligations to workers.”

He said Minister of Labour Harry Bains has been engaged with hotel workers on this issue and recall rights.


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