BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – The union representing striking workers at the Hilton Hotel at Metrotown claims a bus ran over a supporter’s foot outside the hotel Saturday afternoon.
Staff at the hotel have been striking, saying some companies are using the pandemic as an excuse to lay off long-term workers, many of whom are minority women.
Kevin Malone, an organizer with UNITE HERE Local 40, the bus was carrying pilots and crew who had been staying at the hotel.
“As the bus was leaving today with the Lufthansa crew, we were protesting along the street. As the bus moved forward, it ran over one of our ally’s feet, and trapped his foot under the bus,” he claimed.
Malone says the protester’s foot was trapped for about one minute, and that person was later taken to a hospital by paramedics.
Workers have been striking for 29 days. Malone says the picket lines have generally been peaceful and have complied with all city bylaws.
NEWS 1130 has reached out to Burnaby RCMP for comment.
Meantime, the BC Federation of Labour wants people to boycott the Hilton Metrotown and Pacific Gateway Hotel, claiming the workers deal with “draconian layoffs and wage and benefit rollbacks.”
UNITE HERE Local 40 says women, especially racialized women, in the hospitality industry are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“This boycott sends a powerful message that the public expects hotels to return their long-term workforce to their pre-pandemic jobs when the work comes back. No one should lose their job and be replaced because of a temporary crisis,” union president Zailda Chan said.
– With files from Lisa Steacy and Lasia Kretzel