Binding settlement brings labour dispute to an end.
The longstanding labour dispute between the Nanaimo Golf Club and food and beverage workers ended with an arbitrator ruling in favor of the workers on April 26th.
Contract negotiations broke down April 24, 2015 when Club management locked out two dozen Clubhouse workers, all members of UNITE HERE Local 40. After 11 months, the Club acceded to Union demands to allow workers to return to work this March and agreed to go to binding arbitration.
The Arbitrator’s binding decision awarded a 2% wage hike in 2016 and 2017 and a lump sum payment to the workers. The arbitrator’s decision vindicates the union’s position and blocked the Club’s attempt to gain concessions.
Club management locked out workers to force them to accept a number of concessions, such as lowering wages for new hires, having bargaining unit work performed by non-union employees, and restricting union members right to file charges against workers crossing a picket line.
“The arbitrator’s ruling proves what we were asking for was fair and reasonable. I hope others now see that too,” said Kayla Werezak, a returning server.
Bryce Eldred, another returning worker, is glad to be back on the job. “This is a big win. Good union jobs are hard to find in Nanaimo, and I’m glad to have one here,” said Eldred.
Now that workers have returned to work and have a new contract, UNITE HERE Local 40 encourages golfers and the general public to once again patronize the Nanaimo Golf Club greens, dining room and catering facilities.
After more than 1o months behind a picket line, the Nanaimo Gold Club has lifted the lockout of their workers!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
CONTACT: Kirsty Peterson, [email protected], 604-619-2434
Hotel Union and Labor Allies Issue Travel Alert for Hilton Metrotown
Some unions already planning alternate arrangements in case of labour dispute
(Burnaby, BC) Workers from the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown are joining together with leaders from the labour movement Tuesday to announce a travel alert for their hotel. British Columbia’s hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 40 is concerned about the possibility of a lockout and is preparing for the worst at the Hilton. In response, union workers are alerting hotel customers and allies to prepare for the dispute.
“As one of Hilton Metrotown’s largest customers it’s concerning that the hotel is unwilling to agree to a fair contract with their employees,” says Stephanie Smith, President of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU). “Our senior leadership has determined that in the event of a lockout or other labour dispute, the BCGEU will immediately cease all business with Hilton Metrotown and would have to reevaluate our future dealings with the hotel.”
Local 40 has reached major settlements in all other major upscale union hotels, the Hyatt, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle, Pacific Gateway Hotel, Four Seasons, Rosewood Hotel Georgia and the most recent being the Coast Master agreement that settled last week. The Hilton Vancouver Metrotown is the only hotel that refuses to budge on current contract proposals.
Current proposals leave virtually no room for staff raises. Additionally, Hilton management wants to increase the workload for housekeepers and eliminate severance pay.
“This has been the toughest set of bargaining in all my years at the hotel. Management has proposed concession after concession. That’s why we are taking the difficult step of calling for this Travel Alert,” said Front Desk Supervisor Sergio Moyer, who has worked at the Hilton since its opening in 1999.
As the Hilton Metrotown is Burnaby’s only premium full-service hotel, the risk of a labour dispute is causing some unions and labour-friendly travellers to reconsider their upcoming bookings. This would divert business from Burnaby to other cities such as Vancouver and Richmond. Although the workers and the union are not asking anybody to move their business yet, other unions have already begun developing backup plans for their bookings.
Press Conference 11am – Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Speakers: Robert Demand, President, UNITE HERE Local 40
Irene Lanzinger, President, BC Federation of Labour
Donisa Bernardo, Financial Secretary, Hospital Employees Union
Delia Labrador, Housekeeper, Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Sergio Moyer, Front Desk Supervisor, Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
UNITE HERE represents 270,000 women and men across North America who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries. Learn more at www.uniteherelocal40.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Nanaimo, BC) Unite Here Local 40 is calling for a boycott of the Nanaimo Golf Club after two dozen food and beverage workers have been locked out by the Club for over nine months. Local 40 is BC’s Hospitality Workers’ union and represents the locked out workers. “January is the month that Nanaimo Golf Club Members are renewing their memberships”, explains Shelly Ervin, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 40, “and while many Nanaimo businesses and organizations are respecting our picket line, we are asking golf club members not to renew their membership as well as prospective members to use other local clubs until after a settlement is reached.”
To help raise awareness of this issue, Local 40 and the Nanaimo, Duncan & District Labour Council have partnered to post a billboard on the Island Highway northbound into Nanaimo from
Ladysmith. The message is a short and to the point “Nanaimo Golf Club Doesn’t Think You Care”. Stephanie Sparkes, one of the locked out workers, explains that “although the Golf Club seems to think that the community doesn’t care about us, our experience is that they care a lot”. She says that throughout the lockout people have been dropping by with food, honking as they drive by, and some local residents have hosted fundraisers to help out financially. “What we are hoping for is that residents of Nanaimo move one step further and start showing the company how much Nanaimo cares about workers and about good jobs, including those in the service sector!” says Sparkes. Both Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog and Nanaimo MP, Sheila Malcomson have taken the time to meet with workers, hear their concerns directly and show their support by dropping by the picket line. Krog feels that this issue matters to the community. “Nanaimo wants this settled, and binding arbitration is the only sensible course”.
Workers are calling for Nanaimo residents to support the boycott of the Club, and to speak to friends, family and neighbours asking them not to renew their Golf Club memberships, and not to plan events at the club until these locked out members are back at work.
For more information:
Kirsty Peterson, Local 40 Communications
604-619-2934 or [email protected]