Workers at Ramada Prince George voted 87% in favour of strike action last night. Now without a contract for over 10 months, Ramada Prince George workers are considering taking job action, up to and including a strike, to secure wages that allow them to keep up with the rising cost of living. The 35 workers, including housekeepers, banquet staff, front desk agents, and the hotel’s Starbucks food service workers, are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.
Wages at the hotel range between $17-18 per hour, significantly less than the living wage required to support a family in Prince George at $21.19.
“This is about securing a standard that will allow us to live comfortably so that we are not struggling as individuals. This is about separating the gap between what we’re making and what’s a realistic living wage,” said Monisa Boudreau, a housekeeper at Ramada Prince George.
Many Ramada Prince George workers were hired during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting themselves on the frontlines to serve guests. Currently the hotel is not offering any food or beverage service and is understaffed, with heavy workloads placed on its workers. Despite sacrifices made during the pandemic and consistently maintaining high standards for guests, Ramada workers’ jobs are not sustainable at their current wages.
“I’ve worked at the Ramada for over a decade and I’m still struggling to pay my bills. Me and my co-workers deserve a living wage,” said Vanessa Farley, a housekeeper at Ramada Prince George for 11 years.
“I always put 100% into my work, and right now I feel as though I’m not being fairly compensated for it at the Ramada. We’ve tried compromising with the owners but at this point the amount that we’re asking for is the amount that we need to survive,” said Maria Drabinasty, a cleaner at Ramada Prince George for 13 years.
Picket lines could go up any time after workers issue 72-hour strike notice.
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