At least 80 per cent of Unite Here Local 40’s members in Victoria have been laid off due to the pandemic. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Hunger strikers set to march on Victoria for job security

Strike hits Day 10 with some fanfare as workers call for ability to return to work

A midday demonstration marks Day 10 of a hunger strike outside the legislature in Victoria.

Last month, 10 B.C. hotel workers committed to an open-ended hunger strike in hopes of pressuring the government to ensure laid-off workers’ jobs are secured.

Tuesday, the group delivered a petition signed by hundreds of supporters urging the province to enact protections for hard-hit hotel workers laid off due to the pandemic.

While ministers Lana Popham and Rob Fleming were not on hand to receive the petition, their staff were.

Gemma De la Torre, a laid-off housekeeper at Hilton Hotel Vancouver, told provincial staff she’s fasting to protect her job. “I’m struggling to pay my bills. I’m here to ask you to help protect 50,000 hotel jobs. My co-workers and I want to go back to work when jobs are available.”

A demonstration is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 19 at noon, outside the legislature ahead of any expected announcement on the provincial review of recall protections, expected to finish on Aug. 20.

Hotel workers and allies from across Victoria and the Lower Mainland are expected to march in procession, socially distanced and wearing masks, with protesters chanting and speaking with colourful banners, signs, and bullhorns.

RELATED: Laid-off hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

RELATED: Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work


 

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