We need job security for hundreds of thousands of service workers like me who have lost our jobs due to COVID-19.
When I moved to San Jose from Mexico 24 years ago, I wanted to build a stable home and a bright future for my children so they have the opportunity to study and pursue their dreams. While working as a banquet server at the DoubleTree Hotel for the last 17 years, I carefully saved up money from my hard-won earnings, and I enjoyed great health coverage that my union fought to win. In 2016, I was able to fulfill my dream of buying a home for my family – including my 12-year old son and 7-year old daughter.
In March, my coworkers and I were laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have been told it could be until April 2021 or later that we are called back to work. Now – like so many people – I am just barely paying my bills with unemployment payments and cutting into my savings to put food on the table.
I am grateful that my children have a yard to play in, but I’m scared that if one of them gets injured or sick, I won’t be able to pay for their health care because I’ve lost the health coverage I had through my job.
I’m scared that when it’s finally safe to re-open, my employer could use the pandemic as an opportunity to discriminate against longtime workers who have dedicated years of our life to these jobs. In the hospitality industry, so many service workers are immigrant women like me who have also fought to improve conditions across our industry.
That’s why I’m asking you to email your senator today in support of AB 3216 – a bill that would protect hundreds of thousands of service workers with the “right of recall.” If passed, it would mean that employers like the DoubleTree are required to offer jobs first to existing, longtime workers once workplaces reopen and jobs come back.
I know how to do my job best, and it is workers like me who keep our industries running. Our employers need longtime workers who know the ins and outs of our jobs to safely and successfully reopen. And knowing I have a good job to return to would be one less worry in the long list of worries I have for my family.
AB 3216 will help to ensure that as California recovers, working families like mine are not left behind. The stability and wellbeing of our families is critical for the health of our whole state.
Banquet Server at San Jose DoubleTree by Hilton
Member of UNITE HERE Local 19