BOSTON – Councilors Ed Flynn and Kenzie Bok filed a hearing order at last week’s City Council meeting regarding the recent firing of 52 workers at the Nine Zero Hotel, owned by Brookfield Asset Management. The Boston Retirement Fund has $14 million invested in the Brookfield Asset Management, and this hearing aims to discuss the unraveling situation at the Nine Zero and potential implications Brookfield’s decisions have for the Boston Retirement Fund beneficiaries.

The Nine Zero Hotel is a high end hotel located at 90 Tremont Street in Boston, and on March 22, the hotel informed the Nine Zero workers through their union UNITE HERE Local 26 that it plans on permanently eliminating 52 out of 77 employees. This termination comes only days after a contract provision running out that guaranteed the right for workers to return with full seniority, which makes this firing even more unconscionable. Through hospitality jobs, many Black, Brown, and Asian Boston hotel workers have achieved first generational wealth, allowing them to buy a home, raise a family and stay here in the City. In recent months, several hotels have already used the pandemic as an excuse to lay off their workers. With the latest firings from Nine Zero Hotel, it is wholly appropriate to discuss the Boston Retirement Fund’s investments with this hotel’s owner. The Councilors also joined the hotel workers at the picket line in front of the Nine Zero Hotel last week to support their call for the hotel to reverse their decision.

“It is outrageous to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to lay off these hard-working hotel employees,” said Councilor Flynn. “It is critical that we support our working families, and not allow companies with huge profits to use the pandemic to lay off workers who rely on their jobs to support their families and put them on a path to the middle class. We will use this hearing to ask Brookfield Asset Management to explain their decision on firing their employees, and see how this will impact the Boston Retirement Fund.”

“We cannot allow companies to take advantage of this moment to get rid of long-term loyal workers and hire people at worse pay and benefits,” said Councilor Bok. “Hard-working folks in my district, and all over the city, have built a stable life and intergenerational wealth due to these jobs. There is no recovery from COVID-19 without these workers getting their jobs, seniority, and benefits back. I’m eager for Brookfield Asset Management to come and speak with us, and I’m hopeful they will reverse their decision.”

For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and  [email protected].

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