1200 Vancouver Hotel Workers Win Record Wage Increase

$1.25/hour Wage Increase in 6 Months

On July 1st, 1200 employees at 4 downtown Vancouver hotels will receive the second of two wage increases applied in the past 6 months. The total increase of $1.25/hour represents a record raise over this time span for hotel workers in Vancouver. The 1200 workers are employed by the Four Seasons, Westin Bayshore, Hyatt Regency and Pinnacle Hotels.

“Everyone who works in Metro Vancouver has the right to a living wage,” said Robert Demand, President of UNITE HERE Local 40. “At a time when so many people are struggling with the high cost of living, we are really proud to be moving wages in the right direction – not only for our members, but for all tourism workers in the city. Hotel and other service workers are the backbone of the tourism industry and the whole city will benefit from a strong, stable and adequately compensated workforce.”

Transit Pass Discount

The record wage increases coincide with the introduction of a 15% transit pass discount, which began this spring for employees at 8 Vancouver hotels. The transit pass discount was the result of a campaign launched by Local 40 in 2014, aimed at winning a substantial transit discount for all tourism workers in Vancouver.

“Reducing transit costs is a key part of controlling the cost of living for tourism workers,” said Robert Demand. “As the cost of living in Vancouver continues to rise, tourism workers have to live farther and farther away from where they work. Discounting the transit pass will help tourism workers get to work at a price they can afford, while encouraging increased use of the most environmentally friendly transportation option.”

Local 40 is continuing the campaign for an increased transit discount for tourism workers. On July 9th, the union will be mobilizing union and non-union workers across the city to call on Vancouver City Council to support the hotel workers’ campaign, and provide funding to help expand the transit discount program.

Vancouver’s Tourism Industry

The tourism industry is one of Vancouver’s most important economic sectors, employing over 66,000 people and generating $6.1 billion dollars for Greater Vancouver. The continued health of the tourism sector and the local economy will depend on creating high quality jobs to attract and retain a skilled, experienced and dedicated workforce.

“I have worked as a room attendant for 25 years and proudly welcome guests from all over the world, ” said Noy Paguio, a room attendant at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. “We have to improve standards to be able to afford to live and work here. Wage increases like the one we just received, and the transit pass discount will help make that possible.”

 

Nanaimo Golf Club Locks Out Food & Beverage Staff

IMG_0091copyNanaimo Golf Club has locked out two dozen Clubhouse servers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, janitors and the Chef, all members of UNITE HERE Local 40. Workers have had nine bargaining sessions with the Club and have seen little to no progress at the bargaining table. As of 4pm on April 24th, Club management has locked out workers in response to a strike notice served to the Club earlier this week.

Food and beverage staff are seeking respectable wage increases to help cover the cost of living in Nanaimo. The Club has offered an average 1% annual increase over a 3-year term. The Club has also refused to expand eligibility for staff to obtain medical coverage or offer other benefit improvements.

The Club recently invested $4 million to replace its old clubhouse with a 23,000 square foot facility with an expanded restaurant, lounge, banquet halls and other facilities for members and guests. Staff want to know why management refuses to invest in its Clubhouse staff.

The Clubhouse staff are professionals who work hard to serve members and guests.  UNITE HERE Local 40 has made it clear to the Club that workers are prepared to continue bargaining to resolve outstanding issues.

For more information, contact Shelly Ervin, Local 40 negotiator, at 604-230-4017 or  [email protected]

Vancouver Hotel Workers Win Record Wage Increase & Transit Benefit

UNITE HERE! Local 40 members keep improving standards for all of Vancouver’s hotel workers. Our union has set the standard for hotel workers locally in recent years by introducing room attendant workload protections, raising wages, and now, by reducing the cost of getting to and from work.  On May 1st workers at the Hyatt, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle and Four Seasons hotels will receive an employer paid 15% reduction in the cost of transit.  Following our lead, two non-union hotels have also adopted this new benefit.

Union activists and staff kicked off our transit campaign, “Hello to Go”, a year ago. We went out and talked with thousands of hotel workers, Union and non-Union, about one step they could all take together to make Vancouver a more affordable place to live.

Local 40 made transit a key bargaining issue last summer. We also drew attention to this campaign when hotel member, Hyatt engineer Ferdinand “Ding” Ramos, ran for Vancouver City Council in the Fall of 2014. He ran proudly as a hotel worker, talked about how important tourism is to the local economy and called on the City to help reduce the cost of transit. Ding received an impressive 8,000 votes, but more importantly, he captured the attention of politicians, hotel workers and their employers.

Ding’s campaign pushed Local 40 negotiations forward, winning the 15% transit discount in six Vancouver hotels – four Union and two non-Union.

With this contract victory, Local 40 is proud to join Toronto, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu for negotiations in 2018.  In the meantime, the Union will continue to push for further reductions in the cost of transit for hospitality workers.

Ferdinand Ramos, Hotel Worker for Vancouver City Council

Ding small headshotFerdinand Ramos, a Hotel Worker from the Hyatt Regency, is running for Vancouver City Council and he’s already winning! Ferdinand has already won a 15% transit discount for hotel workers in the Hyatt Regency, Four Seasons, Renaissance, Westin Bayshore and Sutton Hotels.

“I am one of Vancouver’s 10,000 hotel workers who make our city prosper.  My wife and I immigrated here, worked hard and sent our kids to college. Hotel workers should have a voice on city council.” -Ferdinand Ramos

Ferdinand is endorsed by Hotel Workers United Local 40. Vote for Ferdinand on November 15! To join the campaign, call Ferdinand at 604-652-7878 or visit HotelWorkersUnitedLocal40.ca