Burnaby, BC – SFU dining hall workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, have reached an agreement with incoming food service contractor, Sodexo. The agreement reached Thursday night means that all 174 dining hall workers will be rehired, with their seniority and wages intact. Sodexo also agrees to offer equivalent health care and pension benefits to what workers currently hold. The agreement also ensures the workers’ union will be voluntarily recognized by the company on May 1.
“We are happy that we resolved our main concerns with Sodexho – that our jobs are safe and our union will be recognized. Now, we look forward to working on our contract,” said Bruna Padularosa, a deli worker in Mackenzie Cafe who has worked at SFU for 29 years.
The agreement comes after weeks of actions held by workers and students demanding that SFU and Sodexo rehire all workers and recognize their years of service. Dining hall workers received an outpouring of support from students, faculty and campus staff in the fight to retain their jobs.
“Cafeteria workers at SFU just won the first round of their fight. They have shown the SFU Administration that vague promises aren’t good enough. More than that, they have taught the rest of us how to organize–and just how much power we have when we do,” said George Temple, a PhD student and member of TSSU.
“From the beginning, we have said that the only acceptable transition is one in which SFU and the new contractor not only commit to hiring the existing workers, but to recognize their years of service, and keep their health care and other benefits,” said Robert Demand, President of UNITE HERE Local 40. “This agreement puts us on a positive path with Sodexo,” said Demand.
The dining services contract was recently awarded to Sodexo. Sodexo will be replacing current food vendor, Chartwells, on May 1.
While dining hall workers were resolving issues with Sodexo, they voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike in response to Chartwells’ failure to fairly compensate workers over the last school year. The issue must be resolved before Chartwells leaves on April 30. The workers’ contract expired last August.
Food service workers at Simon Fraser University, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, are fighting for jobs. Chartwells, part of the Compass Group, recently issued lay-off notices for all 160 food service workers employed at SFU.
The workers demand that the University guarantee their jobs, benefits, and union contract, and that their years of service to the university be respected. On Friday February 6th, cafeteria workers delivered 1,300 student signatures to SFU President Andrew Petter supporting their demands.
SFU’s student newspaper, The Peak, covered the workers’ delegation. Read more about it here:
Local 40 members who work for 45 employers across BC have ratified a new agreement with Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR). Hotel, motel, pub and liquor store workers recently ratified the new 4-year contract which will provide improvements to health care coverage and significantly raise wages.
Negotiations concluded on December 9th when HIR employers finally agreed to retroactive wage increases for all properties. Local 40 members at the largest hotels in Vancouver, Victoria and Harrison only agreed to settle if all smaller properties in communities across BC also received retroactive pay.
“It’s great to have been part of this huge victory. Not only did we get a fair contract, but we learned a lesson: no matter how small we may look, we become stronger when we’re united,” said Claudia Hernandez, room attendant at the Burrard Hotel.
Local 40 addressed not only benefits and wages but engaged employers in a discussion of important workplace issues, such as: guaranteeing year around access to vacations and proper scheduling by seniority at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, wage adjustments after renovations at hotels like the Burrard and St. Regis, and addressing the impact of the upcoming closure at the Empire Landmark Hotel.
Workers at many HIR properties organized workplace actions to win their demands.
“I feel proud of this contract. We fought very hard for 6 months, and in the end, we won our best raises ever and full retro pay,” said Kulwinder Randhawa, room attendant at the Empire Landmark Hotel.
Union Dues T4’s
Local 40 will be issuing the official Union Dues receipts by the end of February.
It is important to use the official union dues receipt provided to you from the Union. Do not rely on the amount that your employer puts on your T4 as the employer’s amount may include monies that are not tax-deductible (e.g. initiation and reinstatement fees.)
Medical Benefit T4A’s
The T4A represents the taxable medical benefit paid through your employer. Morneau Shepell (the Fund) will be mailing your T4A by the end of February.
To guarantee that you receive both T4’s, please make sure that both Local 40 and the Health Care Fund/Member Service Centre have your correct address.
For any further questions, please contact:
Local 40 Union Dues Department: 604-473-4825 or 604-473-4824
Local 40 Member Service Centre: 604-294-4441 (#202-411 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver · www.myhealthandpension.hroffice.com)
March with UNITE HERE Local 40 at the Vancouver’s Women’s March on Washington this Saturday January 21st.
UNITE HERE has a long history of fighting on issues that matter to women, and we are proud to participate in this march!
Local 40 members and community allies are invited to join our contingent.
We gather at 9:30 am at Thurlow and Canada Place.