Hotel workers fired: Coast Hotels says it will not extend recall rights

Marcia Little stands at the cashier at a hotel in Nanaimo
Marcia Little worked at Coast Bastion Hotel in Nanaimo B.C. for 15 years. Photo courtesy of Unite Here Local 40.
Lisa Cordasco - CHLY - NanaimoBC | 18-12-2020

Hotel workers in Nanaimo, B.C. say the Coast Bastion Hotel is behaving like the Grinch for firing them one week before Christmas.

Thirty servers, cooks, valets and other Coast Bastion staff were laid off in March. Their right to be recalled to their jobs expired today. The company is refusing to extend those rights, and has informed its workers they have been fired and need to come and clear out their lockers. Marcia Little has worked as a server at the hotel's Minnow's Restaurant for 15 years. She can't understand why the company will not commit to bringing its workers back when business improves.

 

Little says the hotel refused to recall her this summer when it was at 85 per cent occupancy. Instead, it opened its restaurant with managers serving tables and seating guests. She says the close knit hotel staff has had a tough year.

Earlier this week, Coast announced plans to terminate workers at its Coast Victoria and Coast Inn of the North in Prince George. In a written statement, Coast Hotels says it's bound by a collective agreement, which orders that workers either be recalled or fired after a nine month layoff period. The union representing the workers, Unite Here Local 40, says it has been asking for an extension of recall rights during that time. It says an extension would cost the hotel chain nothing. The union staged hunger strikes in front of the BC Legislature last summer, asking the province to legislate two-year recall rights, and to tie any government assistance to such extensions. At the time, BC's Minister of Labour Harry Bains said he sympathized and would "encourage" employers to extend recall provisions.