97 Terminated Staff Win Right to Return to Jobs
Burnaby, B.C. — Hilton Metrotown hotel workers locked out since April 15, 2021, voted today to ratify a new contract by a 98% yes vote. The vote to approve this groundbreaking three-year collective bargaining agreement ends the picket line outside of the hotel and returns staff to their jobs. The 391-day lockout at Hilton Metrotown has been the longest hotel lockout in B.C.’s history.
Hilton Metrotown workers won full recall rights for 97 terminated workers without loss of seniority or wages. Reinstating workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic was a top issue during the labour dispute. The new agreement preserves housekeeping jobs and restores daily room cleaning which will help ensure safer workloads and improve guest experience. Other achievements include wage increases plus a special bonus, protection of union health and pension benefits, new protection for gratuities, and stronger recall protections for the future. The new collective agreement expires on May 31, 2025.
Liza Secretaria, a night auditor and union bargaining committee member from Hilton Metrotown: “I feel so proud of myself and my co-workers. We went through so much together during the lockout and the pandemic, but we’re stronger than ever now that we have fought for our co-workers to return and won a fair contract. Thank you to everyone who supported us. I am very excited to return to my job and serve guests again. We have shown Hilton Metrotown and other hotels in B.C. that hotel workers will stand up for respect and justice to raise standards in the industry.”
Sergio Moyer, Guest Services Lead and union bargaining committee member from Hilton Metrotown: “I’m so proud of the solidarity of our members, the community, and the labour movement for their support and strength in achieving this win. We’re ready to return to the Hilton Metrotown to do what we do best: serving our guests. Today marks a monumental day for our union as we’ve been fighting on the picket line for 391 days straight. We are overjoyed with the response to the ratification and results.”
Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40: “Hilton Metrotown workers stayed united on the picket line for over a year, truly exemplifying the meaning of solidarity. This was a hard-fought victory and the new contract sets us on a positive path with the hotel. Workers mobilized massive community support to boycott the hotel and sent a strong message to the hospitality industry that no worker should be treated like they’re disposable.”
Across B.C., workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 have won the right to return to their pre-pandemic jobs. With a settlement secured at Hilton Metrotown, the Pacific Gateway Hotel remains an outlier. Local 40 will hold a rally to mark the one-year long strike at Pacific Gateway Hotel on May 12, 2022. Pacific Gateway terminated 70% of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and demanded drastic rollbacks similar to what workers fought back at Hilton Metrotown.
Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected]
UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents members in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.