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.