Various Ontario hotel associations have collaborated to send a letter to provincial Public Health Units and government leaders urgently requesting that employees of hotels be given priority COVID-19 vaccination access along with restaurant employees who work at the same property.
The Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, and Motel Association notes that “by nature of the business,” hotel work includes close interaction with various people and in many cases includes cleaning tasks predominately centred around scrubbing, dusting, and washing areas where guests touch, breathe, and reside.
“This results in hotel employees being in the front lines and in vulnerable positions with potential exposure to COVID-19, leaving them defenceless.”
On behalf of Ontario’s hospitality community, ORHMA, along with the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association, Niagara Falls Canada Hotel Association, Kingston Accommodation Partners, and Resorts of Ontario, has sent an open letter to personnel including Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Chief Medical Officer of Health David Williams.
The letter emphasizes the hotel sector has been “decimated” throughout the pandemic and the journey to recovery will be tough, which includes implications for its workforce.
It adds that hotels need to be in a strong position with healthy employees in order to weather the storms and contribute to Ontario’s economy. Hotels have dispersed “significant funding, training, and effort into implementing necessary safety protocols in order to ensure the safety of their employees and their guests.”
The coalition of associations notes that hotel employees undertake “critical service” and are unable to work virtually. In addition, many work in hotel locations where guests include cross-border travellers, “bringing additional risks including exposure to the highly concerning COVID-19 variants.”
“The recent prioritization of vaccinations among worker groups has raised concerns among hotel employees as to why they have been left out when their job is directly on the frontline servicing guests.”
Meanwhile, ORHMA’s 22nd Annual General Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday June 22, 2021 at 1 p.m.
Key aims include:
- receiving and considering the annual report of the association, including the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the report of the auditors
- confirming bylaw amendments;
- electing the Board of Directors;
- hearing other business as may properly come before the meeting
The association asks you to please confirm your attendance by completing the RSVP. If you are unable to attend, please complete the proxy form to select a member to vote on your behalf.
The deadline to register or submit a proxy form is Friday, June 18, 2021.