Name: Anna Wong

Occupation: Hospitality Industry Worker

Anna is from Fiji and came to Canada looking for new opportunities with her family over 20 years ago. In Fiji, she primarily did office work but was told when she arrived that her skills did not “transfer.” As a result, she entered the hospitality industry. She and other unionized workers at a local Vancouver hotel are currently fighting for a variety of improvements at work.  Despite seeing room rates at her hotel more than double in her tenure, Anna and her fellow union members have seen no corresponding wage or pension increase.

We need more support for recent immigrants and a living wage. Recent immigrants are significantly over-represented among BC’s poor and the non-transferability of their skills is a significant issue. The living wage would make a difference to low-wage workers. It reflects what a family needs to meet their basic needs.

“The union came and fought hard for us…For 6 months [the hotel] didn’t listen…They said we’re not coming, we’re not doing this…If we never unionized, we wouldn’t have a say in the hotel. The hotel itself would tell us…They’d kick our butts out!”