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.”

 

Update: Protest Tonight at Nanaimo Golf Club

Nanaimo Women’s Business Network has Moved Event to Coast Bastion!

NANAIMO – Locked out staff and their supporters will be joined by BC Federation of Labour President, Irene Lanzinger, today to protest the Nanaimo Golf Club.

Date: May 5 @ 5pm
Where: Nanaimo Golf Club

Two dozen UNITE HERE Local 40 workers, including servers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, janitors and the Chef have been locked out by the Nanaimo Golf Club for 11 days.

We have just learned that the Nanaimo Women’s Business Network has moved their event out of the Nanaimo Golf Club and to the Coast Bastion this evening.  They join other area groups who have relocated events due to the lockout.

“We understand groups are inconvenienced by the Club’s lockout.  We hope this sends a strong message to the Club to bring back the workers and negotiate,” said Shelly Ervin, officer of UNITE HERE Local 40.

The Club has not offered to bring staff back to work nor made any overtures to restart negotiations.

UNITE HERE Local 40 represents thousands of hospitality workers throughout BC.

Contact: Michelle Travis
Direct: (604) 473-4805
Email: mtravis@unitehere.org

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  servin@local40union.com.

Clubhouse Food Staff Authorizes Strike at Nanaimo Golf Club

Burnaby, B.C. – Food and beverage workers at Nanaimo Golf Club have voted 85% in favor of authorizing a strike in response to non-productive negotiations with the Club. The two dozen servers, cooks, bartenders, dishwashers and janitors, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, served 72 hour strike notice to the Club on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

Clubhouse staff – some of whom have worked at the Club for over a decade – are seeking to improve access to medical coverage and dental benefits, improve wages, instate a retirement benefit and to ensure that new employees receive adequate entry-level wages.

The Club has refused to expand eligibility for staff to obtain medical coverage or offer better dental benefits. The Club is offering workers increases worth less than 1% in the first year and has even threatened to take away employees’ meal benefit. When the Club was asked to reconsider, the Club offered a limited meal benefit of merely soup and bread.

The Golf 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 locker room facilities for members and guests.

“The Club has invested millions of dollars into their new clubhouse. Food and beverage workers want to know why the Club isn’t investing in its staff,” said Shelly Ervin, Local 40 negotiator. “We know members and guests appreciate the service our members provide. However, the staff is quite disappointed with the Club’s current approach to negotiations,” said Ervin.

 

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.