Workers at the Ramada Prince George Hotel secure new contract

PRESS RELEASE
New agreement includes a $3 increase and significant medical improvements.

Contact: Octavian Cadabeschi
Phone: 604-813-2105
E-mail: [email protected]

Hotel workers at the Ramada Plaza in downtown Prince George have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with their employer today. The agreement brings to an end a protracted labor dispute at the hotel and significantly increases wages for a group of workers who have been the lowest paid union hotel workers in Prince George.

The workers, members of UNITE HERE! Local 40, will receive a wage increase of $3 per hour by June 2020, while some job classifications will receive even higher wage increases.

This agreement marks the third significant victory for Local 40 members in Prince George within the last six months, including contract settlements at UNBC and Coast Inn of the North. These settlements have improved the lives of over 200 families in Prince George.

“I am proud to be a member of UNITE HERE! Local 40. By being part of a union and supporting each other in workplaces across the city, hospitality workers have been able to win significant improvements to our standard of living,” said Stacey Moen, a cook at the Ramada.

Prince George’s labour movement significantly supported each of those victories. Allied unions attended demonstrations, withdrew their business during labour disputes, and encouraged members to respect picket lines when these disputes escalated toward strikes.

“We want to acknowledge the tremendous support from Prince George unions during our two-year long fight,” said Harley Augustino, Union Representative for Prince George. “Solidarity is our strength and we look forward to continuing to improve the lives of Prince George working families for years to come.”

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Local 40 Supports Sheila Malcolmson in the Nanaimo By-Election!

Vote Sheila!

Sheila Malcolmson (on the left) supporting Coast Bastion hotel workers on strike in December 2018.

Every vote counts! Cast your vote at the locations below. Bring your Voting Card with you, or 2 pieces of ID including one with your address.

For more information about voting please visit www.Elections.BC.ca.

Voting Dates & Places

 

Tues Jan 29th, 8am to 5pm

Elections Office (#201 – 65 Front Street)

 

Wed Jan 30th, 8am to 8pm

Elections Office (#201 – 65 Front Street)

Fairview Community School

Uplands Park Elementary School

Alliance Church

Departure Bay Baptist Church

Beban Park Social Centre

Bowen Park Auditorium

Departure Bay Activity Centre

Hammond Bay Elementary School

NAN District Electoral Office

Nanaimo Christian School

Nanaimo Yacht Club

Protection Island Fire Hall

Wellington Hall

Notice: 2019 General Membership Meetings & Union Dues

2019 General Membership Meetings 

*Times & locations to be announced

January 30th

April 24th

July 31st

October 30th

 

Union Dues 

Pursuant to Article 17, section 1(a) of the UNITE HERE Constitution there is a mandated $1.00 increase to dues for those who work 79 hours or less a month.

The minimum dues will increase from $31.65 to $32.65.

Dues will remain the same for members who work over 80 hours a month at 2 x hourly rate + $16.00.

Union, Community call on City of Richmond to Support Chinese Workers Facing Discrimination for Union Activity

UNITE HERE Local 40 files complaint with B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

Richmond, BC – When the Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport changed ownership a year ago, approximately 80% of the hotel staff were Chinese.  The predominantly Chinese staff organized to join UNITE HERE Local 40, but within one year, management reduced the number of Chinese staff from 80% to 40%.  Many of the workers are part of Richmond’s Chinese community and are experienced members of the hospitality industry.

The Four Points workers voted to unionize in February 2018 to have a voice on the job and to feel valued in their workplace.  The employer has retaliated by firing a Chinese union supporter, who was later reinstated by order of the B.C. Labour Relations Board, terminated the predominantly Chinese food & beverage staff, reduced the hours of union supporters and has denied leave to workers who requested time to attend to health and family matters in China.

“UNITE HERE Local 40 wants to know why management appears to be targeting long term staff and members of the Chinese community,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40.

UNITE Here Local 40 is calling upon Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Richmond City Council to support Richmond’s Chinese workers and examine the practises of the hotel owner, Rajeev Nijjar – a developer and business owner in Richmond – over the hotel’s treatment of Chinese workers. The union contends that the City’s hotels should be good places for people who live in the community to work.

“The City of Richmond has an obligation to this community to ensure Mr. Nijjar is not targeting Chinese workers at his hotel,” says Chan.

Richmond has approximately 200,000 residents, roughly 54% of them Chinese.

“We want everyone at work to be treated fairly.  I don’t understand why the hotel would want to remove Chinese employees when so much of our clientele is Chinese,” said Leung. “There are times when only one person on shift can speak Chinese, and this can make it hard to provide proper service to our guests in their language.”

Richmond’s Intercultural Advisory Committee has introduced an Intercultural Strategic Plan which states that Richmond’s Intercultural Vision is “for Richmond to be the most welcoming, inclusive and harmonious community in Canada.” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie proudly points out that Richmond is recognized internationally as “a model for cultural diversity and harmony.”

“Discrimination against Chinese workers does not align with Richmond as ‘a model for cultural diversity and harmony’ that the City hopes to be. The City of Richmond needs to examine why Chinese workers are being targeted for union activity at this Four Points hotel,” adds Local 40 President Zailda Chan.

Press Release: Prince George Coast workers protest lockout threat

Prince George – Today, Coast Hotel workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, and their labour allies held a demonstration at the Coast Inn of the North against the company’s lockout threat. On Tuesday, Coast Hotels issued a 72-hour lockout notice at Coast Inn of the North, Coast Bastion in Nanaimo, and Coast Victoria Harbourside. The move could affect more than 250 workers and their families in three cities as they head into the holiday season.

This escalating labour dispute comes as BC’s hotel industry has enjoyed record revenues in recent years. For months, Coast Hotels has failed to address workers’ demands for livable wage increases, protection from high workloads, an increased pension contribution, and an end to clawbacks of worker’s tips.

“I’ve worked at for Coast for 27 years. I have hip problems and hip surgery coming up. Our workload is so heavy that I take pain killers first thing in the morning just to work. I’m outraged that the company is threatening to lock us out right before Christmas. With what we’re paid, we live almost paycheck to paycheck. A lockout hurts my ability to pay my bills and my mortgage,” said Susan Bishop, a housekeeper at Coast Inn of the North.

Independent of the lockout notice, Laird Cronk, the new president of the BCFED, called for mediation between UNITE HERE Local 40 and Coast Hotels after workers at Nanaimo’s Coast Bastion held a one-day strike on Saturday. The union and the company are currently in mediation this Wednesday and Thursday. The Union has set a deadline of midnight on December 13 to reach a settlement and has called on the labour movement to pull business from the hotels if no deal is reached.

“The labour movement has loyally supported the Coast Inn of the North and we are outraged by the company’s lockout notice. Our support will be a thing of the past if the company continues with this aggressively anti-union action that hurts workers,” said Natalie Fletcher, President of the North Central Labour Council of BC. She continued, “Prince George unions are ready to pull their business from the Coast hotel if a settlement is not reached by midnight on Thursday. If the company locks workers out over the holidays, some of that business may never come back.”

For more information, please contact: Octavian Cadabeschi at 604-813-2105  or [email protected]

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Breaking: Coast Bastion Hotel Workers on Strike!

WHAT:  UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel members at Coast Bastion Hotel are on a one-day strike.

WHEN:  Saturday, December 8, 2018; 6:30AM

WHERE: Coast Bastion Hotel, 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC

 WHO:   Approximately 100 hotel housekeepers, housemen, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, food & beverage servers, front desk agents, bellman, maintenance workers and others.

 WHY: As of 6:30AM, workers at the Coast Bastion Hotel walked off the job today for a one-day strike.  The hotel’s housekeepers, cooks, food and beverage servers, front desk agents, bellman and others – all members of UNITE HERE! Local 40 – are taking strike action after months of bargaining in which Coast Hotels has failed to address demands for decent wage increases, has ignored room attendants crippling workloads, proposed just pennies in pension improvements, and wants to claw back workers’ tips.

Coast Bastion has been rated the brand’s #1 hotel. Nanaimo’s tourism industry has welcomed record numbers of visitors in recent years, in line with cities across British Columbia. While Coast Hotels is reaping the benefits of a tourism boom, the cost of living in Nanaimo is steadily increasing, yet Coast Bastion workers are falling behind.

“The Coast Bastion announced record revenues for several years in a row, yet all of us struggle to get by in Nanaimo. We work hard to make the Coast Bastion the brand’s hotel of the year, and we have walked off the job today to fight for wages and health benefits that we can actually live on,” says Garry Constable, a server at the Coast Bastion.

Coast Bastion is one of three Coast hotels bargaining together under a master agreement. Hotel workers at Coast Victoria Harbourside and Coast Inn of the North have raised similar issues across the chain.

“Too little progress has been made at the negotiating table for months, and we hope this one day strike sends a message to the company to get serious and listen to their staff, stop demanding servers share their tips with management, and start agreeing to safer and more sustainable workload for housekeepers,” say Local 40’s executive director, Robert Demand.

The next round of bargaining is scheduled for December 12-13.

For more information, please contact Octavian Cadabeschi at 604-813-2105 or [email protected] 

Food service workers at Victoria Intl Airport secure new contract

PRESS RELEASE

New agreement includes significant raises and improves staffing

Contact: Octavian Cadabeschi
Phone: 604-813-2105
E-mail: [email protected]

Food service workers at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 have ratified a new contract with the airport’s food service provider, Compass Group, by an overwhelming margin. The new agreement end the long, protracted labour dispute and addresses workers’ concerns about low pay and unreasonably high workloads due to understaffing.

The workers, employed at YYJ’s White Spot, Tim Hortons, Starbucks, and Spinnakers on the Fly, will receive significant raises of up to 24% over the life of the agreement and retroactive bonuses. Most non-tipped workers will soon reach $15/hour by June 1 – well ahead of the BC Government’s scheduled minimum wage increases and ahead of most concession workers at competing airports, like Vancouver International Airport. The new agreement also establishes the first ever pension for food workers at YYJ and includes critical workload protections that will tackle understaffing.

“This is a foundational contract that reflects the hard work our members put into their jobs every day. We can now attract experienced workers to help with the chronic under-staffing and to help our team succeed as our workplace grows,” said Mark Atkins, lead cook at Spinnakers on the Fly.

Over the last 18 months, workers engaged in multiple job actions and demonstrations at YYJ. They were backed by the strong support of union allies, elected officials, community groups and passengers from the Greater Victoria region who demanded that contracted food workers at YYJ not be given second-class treatment.

“For too long, I have felt that my work here at the airport was undervalued. The wage increases and benefits we will receive with this new contract are starting to change that, so that I can afford to stay here and do the work that I love,” said Karlene Kipling, a cook at Spinnakers on the Fly.

The new contract will expire in 2020. YYJ’s contracted workers will continue to press the Victoria Airport Authority and the province to address contract flipping at airports and other institutions in B.C.

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Nanaimo’s Coast Bastion Hotel Workers Ready to Strike

November 23, 2018
Sharan Pawa
604-473-4830
[email protected]

Nanaimo Hotel Workers Pose Strike as Holiday Season Looms

Workers Ready to Walk Off from Coast Bastion Hotel

 

Nanaimo – Coast Bastion Hotel workers have overwhelmingly voted in favour of authorizing a strike action. Frustrated with the lack of progress made in contract negotiations with hotel management, the workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, are prepared to take action for better hotel jobs.

 

B.C.’s tourism industry is booming, creating record profits for hotels. Yet hotel workers across our province are continually struggling to make ends meet, as well as secure medical benefits and liveable pensions. Coast Bastion Hotel workers have been in over a hundred hours of bargaining, yet management has failed to address serious workplace issues.

 

Coast Bastion workers are seeking a wage increase that reflects the increased cost of living in Nanaimo and a fair pension plan for staff that would keep retired workers out of poverty. Workers are also calling on the company to address heavy housekeeping workloads which increases the risk of injuries for room attendants on a daily basis as well as being detrimental to their long-term health.

 

While Coast Hotel workers are poised to strike in Nanaimo, workers at other Coast hotels in Victoria, Prince George and Kelowna continue to bargain.

 

After nine long days in three different cities across B.C., we’ve tried to negotiate with the company. Coast workers are fed up with the little progress made on wages and pension, and their absolutely disrespectful attitude addressing workload and language changes. The workers’ vote in favor of a strike demonstrates how we stand together in demanding a fair contract,” said Garry Constable, a Shop Steward at Coast Bastion Hotel.

 

Negotiations are scheduled to resume in Nanaimo on November 29.

 

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UNBC Cafeteria Workers Ratify New Contract

New agreement averts strike on campus

Union bargaining committee members

UNBC’s cafeteria workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 have unanimously ratified a new agreement with the university’s food provider, Compass Group.  Narrowly averting a strike, the new agreement ends the prolonged labour dispute at the university and addresses workers’ longstanding concerns over pay and job security.

Workers at UNBC’s Agora Dining Hall and Tim Hortons will receive raises of $2/hour at minimum, additional bonus pay, while entry-level wages for new workers will increase substantially to better meet the cost of living in Prince George.  The agreement establishes a new pension benefit for workers, significantly improves medical benefits and enshrines stronger anti-harassment and anti-discrimination standards to protect the rights of members engaged in union activity.  Cafeteria workers also achieved a path to job security with the new agreement.

“We are very pleased that these issues could be resolved.  We feel this agreement addresses our concerns and allows us to continue providing service to the students who rely on us,” said Jeannie Gilbert, a cook at UNBC’s Agora Dining Hall.

The workers have engaged in numerous job actions since the contract expired in April 2017.  After a year of little progress in bargaining, the workers issued a 72-hour strike notice earlier this month.  Workers have received an outpouring of support from faculty, students, labour and community allies who petitioned the university and participated in demonstrations and other actions.

“We want to acknowledge the support we received from the university community, including students, staff and faculty.  Without their support, we may not have been able to avoid a strike,” said Melody Danchuk, a long-term cafeteria worker and member of the union bargaining committee.

 

For more information, please contact: Octavian Cadabeschi, (604) 813-2105, [email protected]