Local 40 members across BC, working for over 45 employers, have reached a tentative settlement with Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR). Hotel, motel, pub and liquor store workers are now ratifying the new 4 year contract which will provide improvements to health care coverage, potentially do the same for pensions, and significantly raise wages.
Negotiations concluded on December 9th when the HIR Employers’ agreed to retroactive wage increases for all properties. Local 40 members at the largest hotels in Vancouver, Victoria & Harrison only agreed to settle if all smaller properties also received retroactive pay.
“It’s great to have been part of this huge victory. Not only did we get a fair contract, but we learned a lesson: no matter how small we may look, we become stronger when we’re united!” Claudia Hernandez, Room Attendant, Burrard Hotel.
Though this round of negotiations was much shorter than previous rounds, Local 40 was able to address not only benefits and wages, but also to engage employers in a discussion of important workplace issues. Tentative agreements include guaranteeing access to vacations 52 weeks a year and proper scheduling by seniority the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, wage adjustments after renovations at hotels like the Burrard and St. Regis, and addressing the impact of the upcoming closure at the Empire Landmark hotel.
What workers at these hotels had in common was that they formed committees through which they organized work place actions to win their demands.
“I feel proud of this contract. We fought very hard for 6 months, and in the end, we won our best raises ever and full retro pay. Most importantly at my hotel, we won the right to potentially extend our medical benefits, and some job security with the chance to work at other hotels when our Hotel closes next year.” Kulwinder Randhawa, Room Attendant, Empire Landmark Hotel.