Our Stories

Women make up a majority of the province's hotel industry. Thousands of them are being fired because of the pandemic. Meet British Columbia's unequal women.

Stephanie Dan

Fired Housekeeper
Years of Service: 7
Pan Pacific Hotel

I was heartbroken when we were fired for no reason. As a member of the Squamish Nation, I thought I deserved to stay on this land and work at Pan Pacific. How I got kicked out from this hotel is how my ancestors got kicked out. This has caused me more hardship that I'd ever imagined. I’m 47. Right now I’m on EI, trying to find a job, pay for rent and my bills, and provide food for my children. As a single mom, this is very hard. Losing my job because of the pandemic is wrong. The hotel shouldn’t use the pandemic as an excuse to replace me.


Gangamma Naidu

Laid-off Housekeeper
Years of Service: 45
Pacific Gateway Hotel

My hotel laid me off when the federal government took over my hotel and contracted with Red Cross to train others to do my job, which was to clean rooms. I’m 69 years old. I worked all my life for my hotel, and this is how I am treated? I can’t afford to retire right now. I’m still healthy and I want to work. Why isn't the government helping us keep our jobs? Don't they care? They need to be responsible for workers. We want to go back to work when the industry recovers.


Marcia Little

Fired Server
Years of Service: 13
Coast Bastion Hotel

I have loved being a server at Coast Bastion for 13 years. I’m almost 60 and was planning to retire here. Why won’t Coast and the hotel owner commit to bringing us back when business gets better? We know a vaccine is on the way and business will eventually recover. Instead, Coast Bastion is taking advantage of COVID-19 and turned their backs on us. I’m getting groceries at a food bank and struggling to pay my mortgage. I’m devastated. I don’t want to lose my career.


Angelica Hernandez

Laid-off Banquet Server
Years of Service: 21
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown

I’m worried about losing my job. Hilton started terminating workers early this year and I could be next. I’m a single mom and raised my son on this job since he was born. He is 18 years old now and I worry about how I’ll be able to support him. I love my job. My co-workers and I care about our customers. Our customers care about us too. They told us they always return because of our excellent service. One time a customer asked me if the hotel treated me well. They would be shocked to hear how we’re being treated during the pandemic. Until Hilton agrees to honour our years of service, we want customers to take their business to other hotels.


Laura Cameron

Fired 2nd Cook
Years of Service: 19
Pacific Gateway Hotel

The federal government took over my hotel as a quarantine site. That put most of us out of work. Our hotel is using that as an excuse to fire us. When Pacific Gateway terminated me, I was devastated. I raised my kids on this job. My co-workers and I bent our backs to serve our hotel but now Pacific Gateway is ripping apart our lives. All we want is to be able to return to our jobs eventually. We don’t want the hotel to go behind our backs and sub-contract the Red Cross to perform our jobs for quarantined travellers. They’re taking advantage of the pandemic to get rid of us.


Gemma De la Torre

Laid-off Housekeeper
Years of Service: 7
Hilton Vancouver Metrotown

I was laid off in March and haven’t been back to work. It’s been very hard trying to get by. CRB is not enough. I have to pay for my mortgage, food, and transportation bills on top of supporting my family. My co-workers and I deserve to return to Hilton because we’ve worked so hard to make this hotel successful. I love my job. I came to Vancouver in 2009. My job at the Hilton has allowed me to build a life here in Canada. Now they want to take that all away. I don’t want to lose it now just because of the pandemic. That’s why we women at Hilton are leading the fight to protect our jobs!


Elisa Cardona

Laid-off Hostess
Years of Service: 7
Pacific Gateway Hotel

I was laid off in March 2020 when the pandemic struck Vancouver. I’m a single parent with two kids, ages 12 and 13, so it was very stressful figuring out how to take care of my family. I’ve been preparing for the worst — I have to choose between paying for my rent and hydro or paying for rent and food each month. I’m close to being homeless and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through tomorrow. Hotel workers should not lose their jobs just because of the pandemic. We built Vancouver’s hotel industry and we deserve to return to work when it’s safe to do so.


Jerty Gaa

Fired Public Area Attendant
Years of Service: 11
Pan Pacific Hotel

I'm devastated that I was fired. I thought I was going to retire at Pan Pacific – but the hotel used the pandemic as an excuse to get rid of many of us. I’m 54 years old so it's hard for me to start again. I worked hard for my job and never came late to work. I've been in Canada for almost 16 years and this is my first time I'm on EI. This isn’t about money. I just want my job back when all this is over.