Workers stage job action at Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond

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      There have been more permanent job losses in Metro Vancouver's hard-hit hotel sector. And the union representing the workers is claiming that the employer's actions make a mockery of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's claims about a "feminist recovery".

      This morning, workers walked off the job at the Pacific Gateway Hotel near Vancouver International Airport.

      According to Unite Here Local 40, the strike was prompted by management's refusal to guarantee workers would be allowed to return when the economy recovers.

      The job action comes after the hotel terminated 103 workers, including 42 over the weekend.

      Unite Here Local 40 said in a news release that the federal government took over the hotel last year under a quarantine order. This resulted in the Red Cross taking over workers' duties.

      "Prime Minister Trudeau, I was fired this past weekend after 27 years of service," room attendant Pardeep Thandi said in the release. "Is this what you call a feminist recovery? I have three girls—one in Grade 5, one in high school, and another in college. I raised them on this job."

      Pacific Gateway's bargaining agent is Hospitality Industrial Relations, which also negotiates on behalf of Hilton Metrotown. It recently fired 97 workers and locked out Unite Here Local 40 workers.

      The union noted that the federal government has given the hotel industry huge public subsidies even as the industry "turns back the clock for women and racialized workers who are its backbone".

      Unite Here Local 40 claimed that management is seeking a seven-year contract that would involve huge wage concessions and the elimination of union health and pension benefits.

      The PHI Hotel Group owns the Pacific Gateway Hotel along with six other B.C. tourism properties and 11 others in Alberta.

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