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Hotel workers to hold massive 'hunger strike' outside B.C. legislature

BC legislature
B.C. Legislature in Victoria. (via File photo)

Unite Here Local 40, the union representing hospitality workers in British Columbia, is holding an open-ended hunger strike outside of the B.C. Legislature on Monday. 

In a release, the union writes that hotel workers are struggling to feed their families and will launch the hunger strike to raise awareness about the crisis facing the province’s 50,000 laid-off hotel workers.

The workers, who led a car caravan protest in June and demonstrations in Victoria and Vancouver last month, plan to encamp at the Legislature and forgo food until the government gives them a legal right to return to work as business recovers.

While the province contemplates the tourism sector’s request for a $680-million bailout package, the union says hotel workers, "need a guarantee that they will be first in line to get their jobs back."

The “Fast for Our Jobs” protest will begin on Monday (Aug. 10) at 10 a.m. with a blessing ceremony followed by the hunger strike immediately afterward. 

Participants will include laid-off hotel workers, community allies, faith leaders from Victoria and the Lower Mainland.

Fasters and their supporters say they will set up camp on the steps of the B.C. Legislature, wearing masks, and ensuring physical distancing of at least two meters. The demonstration will include chanting and speaking with colourful banners, signs, and bullhorns.

The union has also listed a series of hunger strikes for the week following the inital one on its Facebook page.


Elana Shepert

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