On December 12, 2013, UNITE HERE Local 40 members who work in 47 hotels, pubs and liquor stores across BC ratified their new collective agreement with 93% voting in favour.
The new contract addresses major concerns raised by workers and sets new standards for hospitality workers throughout the province. The new agreement lowers hours of eligibility to 20 hours/week which makes it easier for workers to maintain medical benefits through the slower, winter months. The contract also provides for a prescription drug card and expands benefits for tourism workers and their families. Workers will also receive good wage increases and improvements in their pensions.
Workers from Vancouver, Richmond, Harrison Hot Springs, New Westminster, Abbotsford, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Victoria, Prince Rupert, and other communities, led the fight for nearly 18 months to reach a new contract with their employers. The gains in this contract were achieved as a result of the hard work led by the Union Bargaining Committee and through a variety of public actions at places like the Holiday Inn Downtown Vancouver, Blue Horizon, Sheraton Vancouver Airport, Wedgwood Hotel, Empire Landmark, and Howard Johnson Nanaimo.
As part of this contract fight, Sheraton Vancouver Airport workers held a 1-day strike. This was the first hotel strike in Metro Vancouver in a dozen years. Workers led other coordinated actions in their workplaces throughout BC. Together, they have raised standards for tourism workers in BC.
Hospitality workers received key support from their customers, labour unions, elected officials, and community members during this contract campaign.
Local 40 reached a settlement with Hospitality Industrial Relations, who represent the 47 employers, in late November.