Newly ratified contract for Hilton Metrotown Workers

New agreement maintains top hotel standard in Vancouver.

Burnaby, BC – UNITE HERE Local 40 members at Hilton Metrotown ratified their new union contract with a 96% YES vote!  The agreement increases economics by $1.45 over the next two years, preserves hard-fought Room Attendant workload standards, and enhances job security language.

Hilton Bargaining Committe, April 27, 2016

Hilton Bargaining Committee, April 27, 2016

Workers faced a tough round of bargaining, but with the support of union customers and elected officials, along with actions in the streets and in the workplace, Hilton workers sent a strong message to the company that we will stand up for decent standards.

“We are so happy that we were able to keep our workload the same.  Housekeeping is very hard work, and we fought very hard to keep our standard.  Thank you to all of the Unions and politicians that supported us in this struggle,” said Delia Labrador, a Room Attendant who has worked at the Hilton for 16 years.

Among the many union customers who showed their support for Hilton workers were BCGEU, HEU, PSAC, CUPE, MoveUP, Steelworkers and Telecommunications Workers, HSA, and the BC Federation of Labour.

The Hilton bargaining committee worked with hotel management to negotiate an agreement that acknowledged difficult economic conditions at the hotel, while avoiding concessions.  The Hilton withdrew its demands to increase workload for Room Attendants and to eliminate severance pay.

The new contract provides enhanced job security language to protect workers’ jobs, seniority, wages and benefits in the event of a sale, subcontracting or leasing in the workplace.

“I’m so glad we were able to win new job security protections.  It gives us the peace of mind we need to provide quality service to the guests,” said long-term employee, Sergio Moyer, Front Desk Supervisor.

The new contract will expire in 2018.  The Hilton workers will join other Metro Vancouver hotel workers from the Hyatt Vancouver, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle Harbourfront, Four Seasons, Hotel Georgia and Pacific Gateway, who will all bargain in 2018.

 

Arbitrator Rules in Favor of UNITE HERE Local 40 at Nanaimo Golf Club

Binding settlement brings labour dispute to an end.

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Nanaimo billboard co-sponsored by Nanaimo-Duncan & District Labour Council and Local 40.

The longstanding labour dispute between the Nanaimo Golf Club and food and beverage workers ended with an arbitrator ruling in favor of the workers on April 26th.

Contract negotiations broke down April 24, 2015 when Club management locked out two dozen Clubhouse workers, all members of UNITE HERE Local 40.  After 11 months, the Club acceded to Union demands to allow workers to return to work this March and agreed to go to binding arbitration.

The Arbitrator’s binding decision awarded a 2% wage hike in 2016 and 2017 and a lump sum payment to the workers.  The arbitrator’s decision vindicates the union’s position and blocked the Club’s attempt to gain concessions.

Club management locked out workers to force them to accept a number of concessions, such as lowering wages for new hires, having bargaining unit work performed by non-union employees, and restricting union members right to file charges against workers crossing a picket line.

“The arbitrator’s ruling proves what we were asking for was fair and reasonable. I hope others now see that too,” said Kayla Werezak, a returning server.

Bryce Eldred, another returning worker, is glad to be back on the job. “This is a big win.  Good union jobs are hard to find in Nanaimo, and I’m glad to have one here,” said Eldred.

Now that workers have returned to work and have a new contract, UNITE HERE Local 40 encourages golfers and the general public to once again patronize the Nanaimo Golf Club greens, dining room and catering facilities.

 

Work It! March with UNITE HERE at Pride 2015!

Join our campaign to end job discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression! March with UNITE HERE Local 40 at Vancouver Pride on Sunday, August 2. We will gather on the north side of Alberni St between Thurlow and Burrard at 11:45am. Come join us and #WorkIt
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Tourism workers take over Burrard SkyTrain station to celebrate transit pass victory

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Hundreds of tourism workers and their supporters celebrated the new transit pass discount for 8 Vancouver hotels with a party in front of the Burrard Skytrain Station on Thursday afternoon. The festivities featured food, drink and a giant petition to Vancouver’s mayor and city council asking the City to support an even bigger transit pass discount. Right now, employees at 8 Vancouver hotels receive a 15% discount on their transit passes.  Our goal is an even better transit pass discount for everyone working in the Vancouver tourism industry.

On Thursday afternoon, hundreds of tourism workers signed the giant petition to the City and nearly 100 hotel workers used their cell phones to call Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, asking the City for an even better transit pass.

All tourism workers in Vancouver deserve an affordable way to get to work. For more information on the transit pass campaign or to learn how you can get involved, sign up for our email list here or call UNITE HERE Local 40 at 604-473-4809.

Join us this Thursday for an even better Transit Pass Discount!

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Come join us this Thursday, July 9th from 4:30 to 6:00pm at Burrard Skytrain Station as we celebrate winning a discount transit pass for hotel workers in 8 Vancouver hotels. We will be celebrating our victory and asking the city to increase the discount.

We are asking for a transit discount for ALL Vancouver tourism workers. We work hard to welcome guests to our city. Right now, Vancouver City Council is discussing whether to increase our transit pass discount. We need to make sure our voices will be heard!

This Thursday, July 9 at Burrard Skytrain Station we will be signing a petition asking City Council to increase our transit discount. We will also be calling the Mayor, Gregor Robertson. The first 100 people to call the Mayor will get a free one-zone skytrain ticket on Thursday!

Join us anytime from 4:30pm to 6:00pm this Thursday at Burrard Station. See you there!

1200 Vancouver Hotel Workers Win Record Wage Increase

$1.25/hour Wage Increase in 6 Months

On July 1st, 1200 employees at 4 downtown Vancouver hotels will receive the second of two wage increases applied in the past 6 months. The total increase of $1.25/hour represents a record raise over this time span for hotel workers in Vancouver. The 1200 workers are employed by the Four Seasons, Westin Bayshore, Hyatt Regency and Pinnacle Hotels.

“Everyone who works in Metro Vancouver has the right to a living wage,” said Robert Demand, President of UNITE HERE Local 40. “At a time when so many people are struggling with the high cost of living, we are really proud to be moving wages in the right direction – not only for our members, but for all tourism workers in the city. Hotel and other service workers are the backbone of the tourism industry and the whole city will benefit from a strong, stable and adequately compensated workforce.”

Transit Pass Discount

The record wage increases coincide with the introduction of a 15% transit pass discount, which began this spring for employees at 8 Vancouver hotels. The transit pass discount was the result of a campaign launched by Local 40 in 2014, aimed at winning a substantial transit discount for all tourism workers in Vancouver.

“Reducing transit costs is a key part of controlling the cost of living for tourism workers,” said Robert Demand. “As the cost of living in Vancouver continues to rise, tourism workers have to live farther and farther away from where they work. Discounting the transit pass will help tourism workers get to work at a price they can afford, while encouraging increased use of the most environmentally friendly transportation option.”

Local 40 is continuing the campaign for an increased transit discount for tourism workers. On July 9th, the union will be mobilizing union and non-union workers across the city to call on Vancouver City Council to support the hotel workers’ campaign, and provide funding to help expand the transit discount program.

Vancouver’s Tourism Industry

The tourism industry is one of Vancouver’s most important economic sectors, employing over 66,000 people and generating $6.1 billion dollars for Greater Vancouver. The continued health of the tourism sector and the local economy will depend on creating high quality jobs to attract and retain a skilled, experienced and dedicated workforce.

“I have worked as a room attendant for 25 years and proudly welcome guests from all over the world, ” said Noy Paguio, a room attendant at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. “We have to improve standards to be able to afford to live and work here. Wage increases like the one we just received, and the transit pass discount will help make that possible.”

 

Nanaimo Golf Club Locks Out Food & Beverage Staff

IMG_0091copyNanaimo Golf Club has locked out two dozen Clubhouse servers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, janitors and the Chef, all members of UNITE HERE Local 40. Workers have had nine bargaining sessions with the Club and have seen little to no progress at the bargaining table. As of 4pm on April 24th, Club management has locked out workers in response to a strike notice served to the Club earlier this week.

Food and beverage staff are seeking respectable wage increases to help cover the cost of living in Nanaimo. The Club has offered an average 1% annual increase over a 3-year term. The Club has also refused to expand eligibility for staff to obtain medical coverage or offer other benefit improvements.

The Club recently invested $4 million to replace its old clubhouse with a 23,000 square foot facility with an expanded restaurant, lounge, banquet halls and other facilities for members and guests. Staff want to know why management refuses to invest in its Clubhouse staff.

The Clubhouse staff are professionals who work hard to serve members and guests.  UNITE HERE Local 40 has made it clear to the Club that workers are prepared to continue bargaining to resolve outstanding issues.

For more information, contact Shelly Ervin, Local 40 negotiator, at 604-230-4017 or  [email protected]

Vancouver Hotel Workers Win Record Wage Increase & Transit Benefit

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.

Ferdinand Ramos, Hotel Worker for Vancouver City Council

Ding small headshotFerdinand Ramos, a Hotel Worker from the Hyatt Regency, is running for Vancouver City Council and he’s already winning! Ferdinand has already won a 15% transit discount for hotel workers in the Hyatt Regency, Four Seasons, Renaissance, Westin Bayshore and Sutton Hotels.

“I am one of Vancouver’s 10,000 hotel workers who make our city prosper.  My wife and I immigrated here, worked hard and sent our kids to college. Hotel workers should have a voice on city council.” -Ferdinand Ramos

Ferdinand is endorsed by Hotel Workers United Local 40. Vote for Ferdinand on November 15! To join the campaign, call Ferdinand at 604-652-7878 or visit HotelWorkersUnitedLocal40.ca