Hotel Workers Rally in Nanaimo and Vancouver

After a year of bargaining, hotel workers are standing up throughout BC to fight for better standards on the job.   In Nanaimo, workers from Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel and their supporters from the Nanaimo Duncan & District Labour Council rallied on July 5, 2013.   Howard Johnson workers are saying “NO” to an aggregate wage increase of only 25¢ over four years and to LESS money toward their health and pension benefits than what is being offered to workers in the Lower Mainland.  This would make their benefits inferior to what a fellow member would receive in Vancouver!

Howard Johnson is one of dozens of hotels and pubs currently in multi-employer bargaining across the province.  Hotel workers in Vancouver have also rallied in recent months at Wedgwood Hotel, Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown , Best Western Chateau Granville, and elsewhere to protest the offer tabled by management. 

Check back for more updates on hotel bargaining in BC. 

 

UNITE HERE and Hyatt Reach Agreement; Ends Global Boycott

UNITE HERE Local 40 Welcomes New Members at Vancouver International Airport

Over 300 Vancouver International Airport (YVR) concession workers employed by Host have joined UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s hospitality workers union.  Starbucks, White Spot, Burger King and retail workers have united with nearly 200 previously unionized YVR concessions workers to raise standards for all concession workers at YVR.  This effort was led by Union and non-union workers who mobilized to win recognition and a contract for non-union Host workers.  This organizing victory is a direct result of Local 40 members winning their 2010 strike and lockout, which centered on the issue of job security at YVR. 

This is a particularly important victory for airport concession workers, many of whom work two or three jobs in order to support themselves and their families.  They also face the perennial threat of having their units closed, putting some workers at risk of losing their jobs.  Together, we will raise standards and fight to create good, stable jobs at YVR.

Congratulations to Robert Demand, Local 40’s New President

75594_10151463168576838_1671364852_nOn February 25, 2013, Local 40 members elected a new President, Robert Demand, and a new Executive Board composed of Local 40 members from around British Columbia. Secretary-Treasurer, Shelly Ervin and Vice President, Lorrie Dyer, were re-elected to their previously held positions.  Below is a list of the newly elected Executive Board and Trustees:

  • Gulzar Grewal, Room Attendant, Coast Plaza Hotel, Vancouver
  • Lisa Larson, Banquets, Coast Bastion Inn, Nanaimo
  • Bruna Padularosa, Cold Prep, Compass at SFU, Burnaby
  • Raul Cruz, Banquets, Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
  • Jimmy Khan, Engineer, Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond
  • Leine Neilsen, Room Attendant, Hyatt Regency, Vancouver
  • Margaret Prieston, Room Attendant, Ramada Inn, Prince George
  • Edward Leung, Equipment Handling, Gate Gourmet at YVR, Richmond
  • Noy Paguio, Room Attendant, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver
  • Heather Flatt, Room Attendant, Coast Capri, Kelowna
  • Abraham Rodriguez, Busperson, Renaissance Hotel, Vancouver
  • Teresa South, Room Attendant, Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria
  • Fipe Wong, Cook, HMS Host at YVR, Richmond
  • Dianne Melville, Houseperson, Sheraton Vancouver Airport, Richmond
  • Naden Abenes, Room Attendant, Hyatt Regency, Vancouver
  • Guy Gazeley, Event Supervisor, Rogers Arena, Vancouver

Congratulations to the new Executive Board and to the newly elected and re-elected officers of UNITE HERE Local 40!

 

Event: SFU Living Wage Campaign Launch on February 20

Release of Report – ‘SFU: Becoming the First Living Wage University in Canada’

Lat year the Living Wage for Families Campaign, in conjunction with a number of groups in SFU, undertook a survey of low wage workers in the University.  Following on from this process the ‘SFU Living Wage Campaign’ was formed with the aim of  persuading SFU to become the first Living Wage Campus in Canada. As the first step in this campaign we would like to invite you to the release of the report:

 ‘Simon Fraser University: Becoming the First Living Wage University in Canada’

on February 20th, 2013 at 12.30pm-1.30pm
In the West Mall Atrium, SFU.

Hosted by SFU Alumni,
Mae Burrows.

Speakers: Professor Marjorie Griffin Cohen, SFU
Michael McCarthy Flynn, Living Wage for Families Campaign
John Bannister, CUPE 3338

Tea and Coffee

About: This community-based collaborative research report assesses the extent and nature of low wage poverty experienced by people working in Simon Fraser University (SFU) and explores the options open to SFU to address this issue. This event will be the first of a series of dialogues with all members of the SFU community around this issue and provide an opportunity to explore how SFU can ensure that everybody in SFU earns a Living Wage.

Read a summary of the report:
Report Summary

Sign the Petition
http://livingwagesfu.wordpress.com/join-us-get-involved/

Keep up to date with the ‘SFU Living Wage Campaign’ on Social Media:

Facebook and Twitter

 

e: livingwagesfu@gmail.com
w: livingwagesfu.wordpress.com

 

Rally Tuesday to save the Waldorf Hotel!

Support the Waldorf Hotel Workers! Rally at Vancouver City Hall at noon on Tuesday, January 15! Address: West 12th Ave and Cambie.

Coast Hotel Workers Ratify New Agreement!

UNITE HERE Local 40 members at the Coast Hotels in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Prince George have voted 92% to ratify a new 3-year contract that will dramatically improve access to health care benefits for workers and their families.

The settlement was reached on the verge of potential strikes in the Nanaimo and Victoria hotels.

Local 40’s bargaining committee and Coast management reached agreement that effective January 1, 2013, the hours needed for health care eligibility will be lowered from 30 hours/week to an average of 20 hours/week. With this victory, Coast workers now have the best eligibility system in any of Local 40’s contracts.

Other worker goals that were met in this settlement include additional reductions to room attendant workload, improved banquet workers’ rights, establishment of paid sick time, improved pension contributions to include paid time off, a 5% wage increase and improved extended health care benefits so that room attendants can receive much needed physiotherapy.

“These were challenging negotiations but we’re very pleased Coast management has chosen to take the lead in addressing health care eligibility and improving key benefits for their employees. We’re hoping this will set the pattern for hotels around the province,” said Robert Demand, Chief Negotiator for Local 40.

Coast Discovery Inn workers in Campbell River will be voting soon on their own contract settlement which provides for the same improvements in health care eligibility and benefits, improved pension contributions and room attendant workload reductions.

Local 40 is continuing discussions with Coast management about the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver.

HIR Rally at the Blue Horizon

slide1Hundreds of hotel workers rallied on Robson Street in Vancouver on Friday. HIR workers from the Blue Horizon Hotel, Wedgewood,  Empire Landmark, Chateau Granville and two Holiday Inns were joined by Local 40 members from across the Lower Mainland to send a loud message to Robson Street hotel operators: Stop the Abuse! Fair Contract Now!

We were unable to get HIR management back to the bargaining table during the month of September so HIR workers made a plan of action to take to the streets Friday  afternoon at the Blue Horizon.

The Blue Horizon was chosen because of the daily abuses that Room Attendants are experiencing on the job, and are fighting against in the hotel. A majority of the housekeeping department  presented a petition to the owner of the hotel on September 26.

The next round of HIR negotiations is scheduled for October 24 and 25 at the Empire Landmark Hotel.

Coast Hotel Workers Take Action

doc_81On Thursday, September 20, hundreds of Coast Hotel workers in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria and Prince George took another step in their fight for a fair contract. Workers buttoned up with “Fair Contract” buttons began handing out “Real People Deserve Real Wages and Benefits,” leaflets to hotel customers. The flyers pointed out that Coast had only offered an 8 cent raise to workers in bargaing, a gesture that many Coast workers find offensive. Coast Hotels prides itself on its “Real People” advertising campaign, yet employees struggle to earn family-supporting wages and adequate health care benefits. (pictured at left, Nanaimo hotel workers on leafletting duty)

Lisa Larson, a banquet worker at the Coast Bastion, commented on the 8 cent cent contract offer Thursday during a gathering of several hundred Adrian Dix supporters in the Nanaimo hotel, “at a time when the federal goverment is doing away with the penny, Coast Hotels is embracing it.” Larson also told the gathering about the Coast workers struggle for fair health care, “I’ve worked at Coast Hotels for 24 years and I’ve had health care coverage for only 12 of those years.”

In an addition to fair wages, Coast workers are fighting for equality of health care eligibility. Currently, workers in Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince George and Kelowna have a health care plan that is inferior to the plan at Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver. “Just because we don’t live in Vancouver doesn’t mean we’re second class citizens. “We work just as hard as Vancovuer workers, with the same dedication to Coast Hotels. We deserve a fair contract.”

UPDATE: October 5, 2012

Bargaining took place on October 3 and 4 in Nanaimo. Here is management’s latest proposal:

NO to enough money to maintain current health care benefits
NO to enough money to make any real improvement to hours of eligibility
NO to enough money to make any real improvements to extended health benefits, dental and vision
NO to any reduction in housekeeping workload
NO to sick days
NO to fair banquet pool shares by reducing casual shares and management pays, from their share, any grats to managers or sales staff
NO to guaranteeing that working supervisors will not be used to discipline or schedule other union members
NO to a retroactive wage increase and only a 65 cent wage increase over 3 years
3 cents more on their pension proposal

The Union has requested a meeting with a mediator, but we still believe that management needs to respond to the clear demands of the majority of Bastion, Capri, Harbourside and Inn of the North workers. The Union will be meeting with the Committee in each city to discuss next steps in winning the contract all Coast workers and their families need and deserve.

Coast Bargaining Update

On September 6, the Coast committee and their co-workers delivered a petition calling for a fair contract to the Coast general managers. Over 85% of workers in Prince George, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Victoria signed the petition.

On September 10 and 11, the Union Bargaining Committee met with Coast management in Kelowna. Management made the following first economic proposal:

Wages: 2% increase over 3 years

Health Care: insufficient money to improve or maintain benefits

Pension: 9 cents over 3 years

Lowering hours for eligibility: NO

Sick Days: NO

Housekeeping Workload Reduction: NO

To keep moving forward, the Union gave Coast two comprehensive contract proposals, but Coast refused to make a second move at the bargaining table. The bargaining committee then demanded a full written economic and language proposal from Coast management. The next move is now up to Coast.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume October 3 and 4 in Nanaimo.