Second threat of Kitimat hospitality worker strike in recent weeks, risk of pipeline disruption
Kitimat, BC – This weekend, hospitality workers at Horizon North Crossroads Lodge have voted 100% in favour of strike action. The workers – including room attendants, kitchen staff, servers, janitors and front desk agents – are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40. The 800 rooms at Crossroads Lodge house LNG Canada pipeline workers and Kitimat construction workers. Projects in the surrounding area would be affected by strike action as alternative mass worker accommodations in the Kitimat region are not available.
The collective agreement at Crossroads Lodge expired on May 10, with workers and management far away on key issues at the bargaining table. Workers, many who earn less than a living wage, are asking for fair pay that allow them to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of living in British Columbia. Lodge workers are seeking an equal wage increase to Building Trades workers at the LNG Canada camp, who received a 12% raise last year. Crossroads Lodge staff are also in need of workload protections as they are expected to take on heavy and unstainable workloads caused by understaffing.
“Crossroads Lodge workers deserve respect for the work we do in Kitimat, and this strike vote demonstrates how we stand united for the wages and workload we need. We want to continue to provide our services and create a home away from home those staying and working here, but we don’t want to be overlooked anymore. The Sodexo workers’ victory at Cedar Valley Lodge proves how valuable hospitality workers are in this region, and like them, we hope to reach a deal soon and avoid strike action”, said Kathy Wallace, a Second Cook who has worked at Crossroads Lodge for four years.
On July 22, hundreds of Local 40 members at nearby Cedar Valley Lodge voted 100% in favour of their new collective agreement which included substantial pay increases, setting a new wage standard for BC camp hospitality workers. Their new contract also established workload protections for kitchen, janitorial and housekeeping staff.
The Union and the employer are currently in mediation.
Media contact: Sharan Pawa, 602-710-1693, firstname.lastname@example.org