SFU Workers Hold Protest: “Don’t we Deserve a Living Wage too?”

Burnaby, BC — Today, food service workers at SFU and community allies demonstrated on campus to urge Chartwells, a dining services contractor, to pay them a living wage as they resume contract bargaining. Just three weeks earlier, 160 food services workers wore red “Living Wage NOW!” buttons on their uniforms. With inflation soaring across the lower mainland and the impact of Covid reducing hours of work and instigating safety concerns, SFU food service workers are fighting for a living wage, safer workloads, and the same benefits as direct SFU employees.

“I’ve worked at SFU for almost two decades but I’m making $17.50 an hour, it’s ridiculous. I feel like we are being treated as if we’re second-class citizens. Food service workers help keep the campus running. We’re the ones who feed the students, professors, and larger community every day. We need a living wage now!” said Nouha Ishaq, a food service worker who worked at SFU for 17 years.

“The City of Burnaby has been certified as a Living Wage Employer and SFU is one of the largest employers in Burnaby, yet people who work there can’t even pay their bills. It’s time that Chartwells and the university take responsibility to ensure that food service workers on campus get a living wage,” said Jade Ho, a PhD student at SFU and Contract Worker Justice coalition member.

Workers have been bargaining with the company over the past several weeks. However Chartwells’ proposal is still far short of the living wage. The workers and the company are discussing future negotiations and planning to get back to the bargaining table next week.

For more information, please contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected], or Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, [email protected]

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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.

 

Media Advisory: SFU Food Service Workers to Hold Rally for a Living Wage

WHAT: Food service workers at SFU will be demonstrating today, Thursday March 31, to urge Chartwells, a dining services contractor, to give them a living wage as they resume contract bargaining.

WHERE: Convocation Mall at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby BC

WHEN: TODAY, Thursday March 31 at 4 pm 

WHO: SFU food service workers and community allies

WHY: With inflation soaring across the lower mainland and the impact of Covid reducing hours of work and instigating safety concerns, SFU food service workers are fighting for a living wage, safer workloads, and the same benefits as direct SFU employees. While bargaining resumed earlier in March due to pressure from workers’ button-up action where they donned “Living Wage Now!” buttons, the company has given a proposal far below what workers are demanding. Food service workers at SFU are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

VISUALS: SFU food service workers and community allies marching, making noise and holding signs that say “Living Wage NOW!”

Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356 or [email protected]

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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.

 

ATCO Valemount Camp Workers Reach Union Contract

Workers at Trans Mountain pipeline secure deal including 10-22% wage increases immediately

Valemount, B.C. — Camp workers in Valemount, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40,  have ratified a standard-setting union contract with ATCO by a 98% “yes” vote. Valemount camp is the first unionized ATCO camp on the Trans Mountain pipeline. The agreement includes wage increases of up to 22% immediately depending on classifications, housekeeping workload protections, free and improved health care coverage, and up to $455 per month in travel pay for some workers.

The agreement with ATCO covers frontline workers who cook, clean, sanitize, and maintain the Trans Mountain pipeline camp. The union bargaining committee achieved their first two-year collective agreement after workers formed a union in January this year. As housing costs have dramatically risen in northern B.C. over the years, the new contract provides job security and improved working conditions for many. 1st Cooks will be making $31.40 and 2nd Cooks $29.40 in less than a year, with retroactive bonuses for most workers.

“I’m proud that ATCO Valemount workers were able to come together, talk with each other,  and win this life-changing contract. It’s given me peace of mind. Not only will working conditions improve, I can also save for my future. As a Valemount local where prices are going up, having more money in our pockets means a lot. Now with better pay, healthcare, and dental, I can better support my family,” said Ann Bridge, a baker at ATCO Valemount Camp.

This new agreement comes after ATCO Blue River camp workers unionized earlier this month. With hundreds of newly organized camp members including those at Civeo, Horizon North Kitimat, Kitimat LNG, and Parsnip Lodge, UNITE HERE Local 40 is the fastest growing camp workers’ union in northern B.C.

Media Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected]

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UNITE HERE Local 40 is the hospitality and camp workers’ union and represents members in construction camps and the hotel, food service, and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.

B.C. Hotel Housekeepers Invite Fairmont Hot Springs Resort CEO to Meet Unequal Women and Clean Rooms for a Day

Vancouver, BC — B.C. hotel housekeepers from Hilton Metrotown, Pan Pacific Vancouver, and Pacific Gateway, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, are inviting Fairmont Hot Springs Resort CEO Vivek Sharma to meet the province’s Unequal Women and clean rooms for a day, in response to sexist comments he made earlier this month. At the B.C. Tourism and Hospitality Conference in Richmond on March 9, Sharma asked women in the audience to stand and be honoured for International Women’s Day. Then he told them to “go clean some rooms and do some dishes.”

“I’m extremely offended,” said locked out Hilton Metrotown housekeeper Cecilia Rutter who served the hotel for 21 years. “It’s clear Mr. Sharma doesn’t realize that women are the backbone of B.C.’s tourism and hospitality industry.Does he think our hard work and our many years of service to guests is a joke? Does he think we’re unequal to him? As a single mom, my housekeeping job helped me raise my son and I’m proud to be fighting on the picket line now for a better future for my co-workers and all women who work in hospitality.”

“On behalf of B.C.’s Unequal Women who were terminated by hotel employers in the pandemic and women hotel workers who face precarity back on the job, we invite Mr. Sharma to meet us and learn how he can make the industry a ‘safer place’ for women and other underrepresented groups,” said Naden Abenes, a housekeeper at Hyatt Regency Vancouver who ran in last year’s federal election as the NDP candidate for Vancouver Quadra. “That’s what he said in his apology he wanted to do, so we’re giving him a chance to make amends. The best way is by meeting the very women whom he degraded and see what it’s like firsthand to be a housekeeper. I’m sure he’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of women in B.C.’s hospitality industry once he walks a mile in our shoes.”

UNITE HERE Local 40 launched a website last spring, B.C. Unequal Women, to call attention to how hotels have used the pandemic to roll back the clock on women’s economic security. Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, Pan Pacific Vancouver, and Pacific Gateway hotels terminated their employees over the course of Covid. Many of the workers affected were long-term and women of colour.

For more information, please contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected], or Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, [email protected]

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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.

Media Advisory: Hilton Metrotown Workers to hold Press Conference in Response to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort CEO’s Sexist Comments

WHAT: Locked out Hilton Metrotown hotel workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, will hold a press conference today, Tuesday March 22 at 11 am, to address sexist remarks made by Fairmont Hot Springs CEO Vivek Sharma. At the B.C. Tourism and Hospitality Conference in Richmond on March 9, Sharma asked women in the audience to stand and be honoured for International Women’s Day. Then he told them to “go clean some rooms and do some dishes.”

WHERE: Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, 6083 McKay Avenue, Burnaby

WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, March 22 at 11:00 AM (Pacific) 

WHO: Locked out Hilton Metrotown workers and a representative from UNITE HERE Local 40

WHY:  UNITE HERE Local 40 launched a website last spring, B.C. Unequal Women, to call attention to how hotels have used the pandemic to roll back the clock on women’s economic security. Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, Pan Pacific Vancouver, and Pacific Gateway hotels terminated their employees over the course of Covid. Many of the workers affected were long-term and women of colour. Hilton Metrotown workers, on behalf of B.C. women hotel workers, will be speaking out and responding to Vivek Sharma’s comments.

VISUALS: Locked out hotel workers, many of whom are women of colour, speaking and holding signs.

For more information, please contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, [email protected], or Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, [email protected]

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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.