Ms. Yolaine Charette
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
150 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G2
Dear Ms. Charette:
As the Ottawa City Councillors representing the five downtown wards, we have heard from many of your employees and from many area residents about recent layoffs at the Sheraton Ottawa.
We understand that the pandemic has made the economic situation difficult for many businesses, particularly those in the tourism sector. The Sheraton and its parent companies are certainly not immune from these pressures. However, a corporation of that size is also expected to have resources to help it weather hard times.
Sadly, few workers these days have similar resources. Laying off employees during a pandemic will threaten not only their income, but their housing, their purchasing power, and their families' well-being.
We believe the Sheraton would be well-viewed if you make a commitment to these workers - and especially the career employees - to recall them once the economy stabilizes. With the vaccination program under way, we should expect to see the borders open up again, with government and tourism travel returning, and hotel revenues back.
For many people deciding on which Ottawa hotel to choose, a commitment to long-term workers will signal that you have a loyal, happy workforce. The good-will you can expect to receive from the community should be more than enough reason to extend workers' recall rights, rather than disposing of workers who have brought decades of economic gain to your business.
We urge you to reconsider your decision and to extend the recall period for your workers, as the majority of unionized employers in Ottawa have already done.
We are in the middle of the worst public health crisis in a century. Now is the time to band together, not to exploit long-term workers or punish their loyalty.
As we move forward post-pandemic, we will be looking for companies that support their workers and their community.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Councillor, Rideau-Vanier Ward
Councillor, Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward
Councillor, Kitchissippi Ward
Councillor, Somerset Ward
Councillor, Capital Ward