On this post you will find (and also a .PDF linked for dowloading) a letter to The Honourable Harry Bains, Minister of Labour from the Faith and Labour Caucus of the Metro Vancouver Alliance, a broad based alliance of faith, labour, community and environmental organizations written on May 26, 2021 in regards to Hotel Workers in BC and the lack of recall rights for those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The lack of security for this group of workers is extremely concerning and we strongly urge the Province to support them, insuring they have recall rights as part of a COVID-19 recovery.
The Eco-Justice Unit of the Diocese of New Westminster and St. Thomas, Vancouver, two of the signatories of this letter are Member Organizations of MVA.
The Diocese of New Westminster is a Sponsoring Organization of MVA.
Dear Minister Bains:
We are writing as the Faith and Labour Member Organizations of the Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA, an alliance of organizations) This MVA Faith and Labour Caucus has been meeting to discuss issues within our province, and particularly the situation of hotel workers. It is for this reason that we are writing this letter.
COVID-19 has been difficult for workers across the province but those in the hotel industry have been particularly struggling. This group of workers, who are predominantly women and people of colour, have been left in a precarious position by their employers who have not extended their recall rights. We believe that the province needs to support these workers and we echo the call by Unite Here! Local 40 that our province's hotel workers be granted seniority based recall rights. As soon as business resumes, the workers must be given their jobs back with the same wages and benefits.
We have noted that the province has granted funding to the tourism industry. We would suggest given this financial support that a covenant has been put in place for hotels to honour this support, mandating that they commit to recall rights for laid off employees during the Covid-19 pandemic before receiving further financial support from the Provincial Government.
Some of our member organizations have been active on this issue for some time. We have heard clearly of the suffering both economically and in family insecurity from these employees. They have borne the brunt of the shutdown of hotels. We are staying steadfast in our support.
Our member organizations of MVA urge you as Labour Minister to follow through on this and use all the ability of your office to require recall rights for the hotel employees as business open up so that a fair process and a fair outcome is achieved.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Metro Vancouver Alliance Organizations:
Rev. Guy Rivard, OP – Saint Mary’s Catholic Parish
Reverend Margaret Marquardt – The Anglican Diocese of New Westminster Eco – Justice Unit
Rev. Pierre Ducharme, OFM (Pastor) – Saint Joseph the Worker Parish
Reverend Dr. Barry Morris – Longhouse Ministry of the United Church
Reverend Michael Batten – Saint Thomas Anglican Church
Stephanie Smith – BCGEU President
Mark Beeching – President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1724