Vote the Vision slate, and vote for Ferdinand Ramos, who’s fighting for a hospitality workers’ transit discount

Once you’ve voted the Vision Vancouver slate — from bottom to top, starting with Tony Tang, Tim Stevenson, then Niki Sharma and on up the line — give a vote to Ferdinand Ramos, the Hotel Workers United council candidate who’s campaigning for a new transit discount for Metro Vancouver’s tens of thousands of hospitality workers.

The $1 billion hospitality sector is vital to the city’s economy, but workers in hotels, bars and tourism struggle to make ends meet.

Transit costs are a huge burden for hospitality workers, who often have to make a three-zone trip in the early morning to get to work and make the same trek home in the afternoon, after a full day of room cleaning, food service or guest services. Ramos himself is a tradesman at one of the major downtown Vancouver hotels.

Ramos is telling the transit story we haven’t heard enough in this campaign: the struggle of tens of thousands of workers across the region who rely on it to go to and from their jobs. His solution is practical: a transit discount pass for hospitality workers to help them get to work.

And he’s winning. The new agreement for employees at the Hyatt Regency, the Four Seasons, the Renaissance, the Westin Bayshore and Sutton Hotels includes a 15 percent transit discount pass. You don’t have to be a union member to benefit from Ramos’ campaign. If implemented as he proposes, the transit discount pass would be available to hospitality workers across the region, union or non-union.

I welcomed Ramos to the Vision Vancouver office last week to hear about his campaign and you can see a video of the conversation here. I’m voting Ramos, he’s endorsing me — you should consider him too.