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Richmond hotel workers mark two years on strike with a rally

The 143 workers were laid off during the pandemic, despite the Cessna Drive hotel raking in millions of dollars as a federal quarantine site
Employees of the now former Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond mark being on strike for two years with a rally

Dozens of Richmond hotel workers held a rally on Thursday evening to mark the two-year anniversary of being on strike.

The employees of the now former Pacific Gateway Hotel, on Cessna Drive, made their feelings known once more with signs and songs and were joined by fellow members from across the region.

During the pandemic, the hotel, which has now rebranded as the Radisson Blu, terminated 143 long-term staff.

However, it’s understood the hotel raked in millions of dollars from the federal government during that time as it was being used as a federal quarantine site for travellers landing at Vancouver International Airport.

According to the worker’s union, UNITE Here Local 40, the hotel owner, an affiliate PHI Hotel Group, refused to recall staff as business recovered as other local hotels have done.

The federal government removed the hotel from its suite of quarantine hotels in 2022 after pressure from the union, while workers have been on the picket line daily since May 2021.

The BC Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress have issued a boycott of the hotel until the owner agrees to rehire workers and settles a fair contract.

The City of Richmond also resolved not to support events or promote business with the hotel until a resolution is reached with the workers.