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: [email protected]

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]

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.

VOTE for Ferdinand Ramos, Hotel Worker for City Council NOVEMBER 15

Ferdinand Ramos and Mable Elmore.

Hotel Worker, Ferdinand Ramos and MLA Mable Elmore.

Ferdinand Ramos just received another endorsement from a prominent elected leader in Vancouver! Vancouver-Kensington MLA, Mable Elmore, has endorsed Ferdinand’s campaign for Vancouver City Council. In endorsing Ferdinand’s campaign, Mable said the following:

“Ferdinand is a proven leader in the hospitality industry. His campaign is already making a difference in the lives of thousands of tourism workers by securing a 15% transit discount for employees in the Hyatt Regency, Four Seasons, Westin Bayshore, Renaissance and Sutton Hotels. I support Ferdinand Ramos for Vancouver City Council. Vote for Ferdinand Ramos. Let’s make sure Vancouver works for everyone!”

If you live in Vancouver, vote TOMORROW for Ferdinand Ramos, Hotel Workers United, City Council, Geoff Meggs, Vision Vancouver, City Council, Gregor Robertson, Vision Vancouver Mayor and Sammy Jo Rumbaua, Vision Vancouver, Park Board.

If you live in Surrey, Ferdinand and Mable urge you to vote for Narima Dela Cruz for Surrey City Council.

Mable Narima

 

Rank and File interviews Irene Lanzinger on her run for President of the BC Federation of Labour

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Photo of Irene Lanzinger courtesy of Rank and File

UNITE HERE Local 40 has endorsed Irene Lanzinger for President of the BC Federation of Labour.  Check out Irene’s interview in the current issue of Rank and File.

For more information on Irene Lanzinger’s campaign, visit IreneLanzinger.ca or follow Irene on Twitter @ilanzinger 

UNITE HERE Local 40 endorses Irene Lanzinger for BC Federation of Labour President

UNITE HERE Local 40 is proud to endorse Irene Lanzinger for President of the BC Federation of Labour. Irene is a proven labour leader, with vast experience as Chief Negotiator and President of the BC Teachers Federation. She is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour.

Irene Lanzinger“The first time I met Irene I knew she was a real fighter,” said Robert Demand, President of UNITE HERE Local 40. “Our members at the Delta Hotel in Richmond were locked in tough contract negotiations and they had asked other unions for support. Irene, as President of the BC Teachers Federation, was the first to jump into action. She was decisive and tough. Irene went to the hotel and made it clear to management that either they settle a fair contract now or the Teachers Federation would cancel all future business. The hotel settled and the workers at the Delta won UNITE HERE’s  Vancouver hotel standard. Irene understood the fight then and she knows the challenges working people face now. We need Irene Lanzinger as President of the BC Federation of Labour.”

For more information on Irene’s campaign, visit irenelanzinger.ca or contact Phillip Legg at 604-788-2877

 

Notice: 2014 Dues Amendment for Camp Workers’ Dues

As per Article XII, of the UNITE HERE Local 40 Bylaws, this is a first reading, at the June 30, 2014 General Membership Meeting, of a proposed amendment to the Local’s Bylaws to increase dues rate and initiation fee for BC Camp Workers.

The following amendment is to update the Local’s dues & initiation fee structure to be similar to the dues & initiation fee structure currently used by UNITE HERE! in camps in Alberta.

Camp Workers currently employed will continue to pay the existing dues rates while working on their existing jobs; if and when they move to a new job site, after November 1, 2014, they would pay the new Camp Workers dues rate in new Section 2. Existing Camp Workers, hired prior to November 1, 2014, will be exempt from paying the new initiation fee in new Section 1.

The UNITE HERE! Local 40 Executive Board proposes the following By-law amendment:

Effective November 1, 2014 modify UNITE HERE Local 40 By-Laws, Article XI – Finances;

a) Section 1 – Initiation Fees to Camp Workers to $350.00 initiation

b) Section 2 – Monthly Dues, create a new subsection 2(b) – Camp Workers’ Dues Rate:

“All new Camp Employees hired on or after November 1, 2014, or for existing Camp Workers hired onto a new job site, shall pay monthly dues based on two (2%) percent of their monthly gross earnings plus the cost of current per capita.

For an unemployed Camp Worker, that wants to remain on the dispatch list, their monthly dues shall be equal to the minimum dues rate (for a Local 40 member working less than eighty (80) hours a month in subsection 2(a) )”.

ARTICLE XII

AMENDMENTS

Section 1. All proposed amendments to these bylaws must be in writing, proposed by the Executive Board or signed by 200 members in good standing with the Local and read at two consecutive meetings and voted upon at the second meeting. After the first reading, the proposed amendment must be posted on the bulletin board until final action. A two-thirds majority vote of members present at the second meeting shall be required to adopt an amendment. No amendment shall become effective until approved by the General President.

Section 2. The procedure outlined in Section 1 above shall be fully applicable to amendments providing for an increase in dues or initiation fees, except it shall require a majority vote by secret ballot on such second meeting day after reasonable written notice of intent to vote on the increase is given to the membership. The amendment, as set forth in the notice, is not subject to change after the notice is sent.

Section 3. Rules of order or order of business may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the membership present.

ARTICLE XI

FINANCES

Section 1. Initiation Fees. The initiation fee of the Local Union shall be in accordance with the following schedule:

Effective

January 1, 2002

Licensed Premises

Employees $68.00

Camp Workers $350.00

All Others $33.00

Section 2. Monthly dues. The monthly dues of this Local Union shall be in accordance with the following schedule, subject to the provisions of Article 17, Section 1 of the International Constitution.

Effective July 1, 2009

All Employees Employed 80 or more hours per month – 2 x hourly rate plus $16.00

Effective July 1, 2009

All Employees Employed less than 80 hours per month $31.40

(b) Camp Workers – Effective November 1, 2014

All new Camp Employees hired on or after November 1, 2014, or for existing Camp Workers hired onto a new job site, shall pay monthly dues based on two (2%) percent of their monthly gross earnings plus the cost of current per capita.

For an unemployed Camp Worker, that wants to remain on the dispatch list, their monthly dues shall be equal to the minimum dues rate (for a Local 40 member working less than eighty (80) hours a month in subsection 2(a) )”.

Dues are payable on the first day of each month.

Section 3. Members in good standing, unable to work because of illness, shall receive a dues stamp each month cancelled “sick” as a loan from the Local Union. Such loan shall be repaid at the rate of one sick stamp per month when the member returns to employment. Members requesting a sick stamp loan from the Local Union shall submit a doctor’s certificate, certifying that the member is sick and cannot work. The limit that sick stamps will be issued in any one calendar year is six months. The time limit in cases of emergency may be extended upon recommendation of the Executive Board and approval of the membership but in no event will the time limit be extended to a period beyond 12 months.

Section 4. Any member being two calendar months in arrears for the payment of any dues, assessments or fines shall be considered automatically suspended. The provisions of Article X of these bylaws shall not apply to such suspension.

Section 5. Reinstatement to membership in this Local Union shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article XIV, Sections 4 and 5, Article XVIII, Sections 6 and 7, and Article XXIV, Section 10 of the International Constitution.

Section 6. It shall be mandatory on members of this Local to deposit their travelling card with the Local Union having jurisdiction before accepting employment. Any member violating the foregoing provision is subject to the provisions of Article 14 of the International Constitution.

(For a PDF version, go to: 2014_Dues_Amendment_for_Camp_Workers_Dues.)