UNITE HERE! Local 40 members keep improving standards for all of Vancouver’s hotel workers. Our union has set the standard for hotel workers locally in recent years by introducing room attendant workload protections, raising wages, and now, by reducing the cost of getting to and from work. On May 1st workers at the Hyatt, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle and Four Seasons hotels will receive an employer paid 15% reduction in the cost of transit. Following our lead, two non-union hotels have also adopted this new benefit.
Union activists and staff kicked off our transit campaign, “Hello to Go”, a year ago. We went out and talked with thousands of hotel workers, Union and non-Union, about one step they could all take together to make Vancouver a more affordable place to live.
Local 40 made transit a key bargaining issue last summer. We also drew attention to this campaign when hotel member, Hyatt engineer Ferdinand “Ding” Ramos, ran for Vancouver City Council in the Fall of 2014. He ran proudly as a hotel worker, talked about how important tourism is to the local economy and called on the City to help reduce the cost of transit. Ding received an impressive 8,000 votes, but more importantly, he captured the attention of politicians, hotel workers and their employers.
Ding’s campaign pushed Local 40 negotiations forward, winning the 15% transit discount in six Vancouver hotels – four Union and two non-Union.
With this contract victory, Local 40 is proud to join Toronto, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu for negotiations in 2018. In the meantime, the Union will continue to push for further reductions in the cost of transit for hospitality workers.