Local 40 members ratify contract with HIR representing 45 employers

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.

Notice regarding dues receipts (T4’s) & medical benefits (T4A’s)

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)


Join Local 40 at the Women’s March!

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.

UBC petition calls for Sauder centre to turf board member

VANCOUVER – University of British Columbia students delivered a petition today demanding the Sauder Centre for Social Innovation cut its ties with a board member over his company’s treatment of its workers.

Representatives of UBC’s Social Justice Centre say actions by the Vancouver-based Larco hotel chain hurt the Sauder centre’s reputation for creating social and economic good. The students say Larco CEO Amin Lalji shouldn’t be involved in the Sauder Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing.

“We feel, as students, that we have to keep UBC accountable to its promises of social responsibility,” said Social Justice Centre member Eviatar Bach, adding “we can’t let the university become a tool for boosting the reputation of donors we feel are engaged in unethical behavior.”

Representatives from the Social Justice Centre were joined by Larco hotel workers. Unite Here, the union representing the workers, says its members are fighting an uphill battle for respect and fair treatment.

In Toronto, Unite Here Local 75 members at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel recently filed an Unfair Labour Practice against the company for interference in a union organizing drive.  Unite Here Local 40 President Robert Demand said, “Workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel are increasingly squeezed by higher workloads while earning significantly lower wages than workers at comparable local hotels.”

“As a housekeeper I work very hard, my job carries a high risk of injury, and many of my co-workers work in pain every day, said Sheraton housekeeper Jean Harvey.  “We deserve to be heard, but I don’t believe Mr. Lalji is listening to us, or treating us with respect.”  Harvey joined the delegation presenting the petition at UBC today.

Demand said the union appreciates the interest and support from UBC students and hopes the petition alerts the Sauder centre to the seriousness of the situation.



UBC Social Justice Centre: Eviatar Bach, 604-727-6117, eviatarbach@gmail.com

Unite Here Local 40:  Octavian Cadabeschi, 604-813-2105, ocadabeschi@unitehere.org

The UBC Social Justice Centre aims to serve any and all students interested in finding progressive solutions to societal and global injustice.  UNITE HERE Local 40 is the union for hospitality workers in British Columbia.

Press Conference: Community Leaders in Vancouver & Toronto Call on Larco Hospitality to Stop Hurting Housekeepers

Canadian Cities Join Hotel Housekeepers Global Week of Action

img_0579A joint press conference was held today in Vancouver and Toronto with community leaders representing several Filipino, South Asian and faith groups and UNITE HERE Canada.  Community leaders demanded that Larco Hospitality stop mistreating hotel workers, many of them immigrant women, who report heavy workloads and experience work-related pain and who have experienced violations of basic rights in their efforts to organize.

This action was part of the Hotel Housekeepers Global Week of Action, featuring multiple coordinated actions by housekeepers in more than a dozen countries around the world.

In Vancouver, representatives from the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), KAIROS Vancouver, Longhouse Ministry, Richmond Poverty Response Committee, and Langara College Professor Indira Prahst, joined to support hotel workers from the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel who are members of UNITE HERE Local 40.

“We stand in solidarity with the workers of Sheraton and we appeal to management of the Sheraton to look at the issues and give appropriate wages and conditions for labour,” said Chelliah Premrajah, from the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy.  He added, “The large number of employees here are immigrants or are descendants of immigrants.  We want their standard of living to improve, particularly in Richmond, where housing is extremely unaffordable and transport costs are increasing, making it harder to live here.”

In Toronto, speakers included members of Migrante Canada, an international human rights organization for Filipino migrants, members of AnakBayan Toronto (AB-TO), an all-youth advocacy group organizing events around issues affecting the Filipino community in Canada, and hotel workers from the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel who recently voted to join UNITE HERE Local 75 and are currently negotiating their first contract.

Background: Larco Investments, and its affiliate, Larco Hospitality, is a major hotel owner/operator in Canada.  Many of Larco’s hotel employees are first generation immigrants who are Filipino, South Asian and Chinese.  During this week’s Hotel Housekeepers Global Week of Action, community leaders in Vancouver and Toronto will be calling on Larco to stop mistreating workers at their hotels.

In Vancouver, workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel, owned by an affiliate of Larco Hospitality, are being squeezed by heavy workloads and lower wage and benefit standards than at comparable hotels, earning, on average $8,000 less annually.

In Toronto, workers at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel report that Larco Hospitality interfered with their right to organize at the hotel through the use of intimidation and harassment tactics during a union drive this summer.  In response, UNITE HERE Local 75 filed charges against Larco with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.  The workers are currently negotiating their first contract.

Hotel workers, particularly housekeepers, are often immigrants, women, and people of colour, and are the invisible backbone of the hotel industry.  The work they do can be grueling and dangerous.  It entails lifting mattresses that can weigh up to 100 pounds, pushing heavy carts, and dealing with guests behind closed doors.  Heavy and repetitive workloads combined with intense time pressures can contribute to chronic pain and injuries for housekeepers.

Housekeepers affiliated with UNITE HERE in Canada and the U.S. are joining worldwide protests this week to spotlight safety concerns and poor wages faced by women who clean hotel rooms.  The Hotel Housekeepers Global Week of Action is from October 31 to November 6.

UNITE HERE Canada is the union for hospitality workers and represents thousands of hotel and food service workers throughout Canada.



Vancouver – Octavian Cadabeschi, (604) 813-2105 or ocadabeschi@unitehere.org.

Toronto – Marc Hollin, (647) 408-5428 or mhollin@unitehere.org

International – Massimo Frattini, IUF, Massimo.Frattini@iuf.org