Press Release: 400 Sodexo Camp Workers Join UNITE HERE Local 40

Vancouver — More than 400 Sodexo hospitality workers at Cedar Valley Lodge (CVL) officially joined UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s camp workers hospitality union, on Wednesday. UNITE HERE Local 40 and IBEW Local 993, which organized the maintenance department, applied for certification together. Cedar Valley Lodge accommodates up to 2,500 workers working on the LNG Canada project in Kitimat.

Sodexo workers at CVL have been organizing to join Local 40 since the camp first opened in March 2020. Workers will soon begin bargaining for a new collective agreement. The newly organized unit includes housekeepers, kitchen staff, janitors, lounge servers, and guest service agents.

While inflation has been skyrocketing to record levels in BC, remote camp kitchen and housekeeping workers in Kitimat are not keeping pace. Sodexo workers are looking forward to negotiating significant economic improvements that allow them to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“My co-workers and I have been organizing for this moment for a long time. We won the right to be represented by the Union of our choice and the freedom to have a voice. We want Sodexo to pay us the respect at work we deserve and win a standard to keep up with rising cost of living,” said Botchman Jomo, a Second Cook who has worked at Sodexo for two years.

UNITE HERE Local 40 represents over 900 remote camp workers in B.C. and growing.

Media Contact: Michelle Travis,, 778-960-9785.


Press Release: ‘Santa Claus’ joins striking hotel workers on picket line

Pacific Gateway Hotel workers have been on strike for 592 days

Vancouver, BC — ‘Santa Claus’ joined striking Pacific Gateway workers at a demonstration held by dozens of protestors in front of the hotel yesterday. Santa led the procession of picketers in a noisy protest over management’s treatment of workers and to mark what will soon be strikers’ second Christmas on the picket line. Workers struck after management terminated 143 of their co-workers and demanded deep economic concessions during the height of the pandemic last year.

Hotel owner, PHI Hotel Group, has refused to return terminated workers to their jobs as tourism rebounds. Most of the affected workers are women who served the hotel for years. This stands in stark contrast to other Metro Vancouver hotel employers who agreed to return laid off staff to their jobs to welcome visitors back.

Pacific Gateway received millions from the federal government to be used as a federal quarantine site until last January. A Globe and Mail article about “wretched” conditions at quarantine hotels cited traveller complaints at Pacific Gateway before the government pulled out of the hotel.

The hotel, which will be rebranded a Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport in the new year, is currently under boycott. The boycott has been endorsed by the BC Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress. Earlier this year, Richmond City Council adopted a resolution that the city will not do business with the hotel until the owner resolves the dispute with workers. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

“Until the owner agrees to bring us all back and negotiate a fair contract, customers should continue to boycott the rebranded Radisson Blu Vancouver Airport hotel. No matter how long it takes, we will continue to stand up for justice. PHI Hotel Group cannot hide behind a name change,” said Pardeep Thandi, a hotel housekeeper who worked at the hotel for 27 years.

Media Contact: Michelle Travis,, 778-960-9785.


Press Release: YVR Airline Catering Workers Ratify Contract with Historic Wage Increases

For Immediate Release

Vancouver, B.C. – UNITE HERE Local 40 members who work for Gate Gourmet at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) have voted 94% “yes” to ratify a new collective agreement that will significantly raise airline catering workers’ pay.  The company agreed to provide 12% wage increases to workers in Vancouver to address skyrocketing inflation. The wage boost will also make these among the best paying airline catering jobs at YVR Airport.

Nearly 300 Gate Gourmet workers who prepare and deliver meals to Air Canada and other major airlines are covered by the new three-year agreement.  Workers have held escalating job actions, including rallies and an overtime ban, to press the global catering company over low-pay and staffing challenges. Last month, the B.C. Labour Board issued a cease-and-desist order against Gate Gourmet for using replacement workers during a strike action.

Under the new collective agreement, most workers will be earning approximately $25 an hour or more by next summer, which sets a new standard for airport catering workers at YVR.

“We’re proud of what we achieved during this round of bargaining. Gate Gourmet workers united together to win a contract that allows us to keep up with rising inflation and to make these truly living wage jobs,” said Rolando Gonzalez, a team lead in the kitchen department and bargaining committee member.

The new agreement also secures improvements in health care benefits, improved seniority rights for long-term workers, a quicker path to top wage rates and an increased shoe allowance. The new agreement is in place through July 31, 2025.

For more information, contact: Michelle Travis,, 778-960-9785



Press Release: Labour Board orders cease and desist against Air Canada’s caterer at YVR Airport for violating striking workers’ rights

For Immediate Release

Vancouver, BC —- Air Canada’s airline catering firm, Gate Gourmet, breached BC’s labour code when the company used replacement workers during a strike action at Vancouver Airport, according to a new ruling by the BC Labour Board. The company double-catered flights for Air Canada at other airports after Gate Gourmet YVR workers launched an overtime ban in protest over wages and working conditions. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40.

The Vice-Chair of the Labour Relations Board ordered a cease and desist after finding that Gate Gourmet breached Section 68 of the provincial labour code which prohibits use of impermissible replacement workers to perform struck work. Gate Gourmet Canada Inc. had its employees at airports in Alberta and Ontario double-cater flights for Air Canada that would otherwise have been catered out of Vancouver Airport, by striking employees.

The Board found that it was a breach of Section 68 of the Code for Gate Gourmet kitchens outside of BC to double-cater struck work. Going forward during future strike activity, Gate Gourmet cannot respond by double-catering out of other kitchens.

Air Canada’s contracted catering workers are some of the lowest paid workers in the airline industry and have been negotiating for increases that would allow them to keep up with the skyrocketing inflation and rising cost of living.

“This order sends a strong message to Gate Gourmet that they cannot get away with undermining BC’s labor laws. Airline catering staff are prepared to take further action until the company addresses workers’ concerns over cost of living increases and staffing issues,” said Mike Biskar, union negotiator.

Contact: Michelle Travis,, 778-960-9785


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


Job Posting: UNITE HERE Local 40 Temporary Contract Enforcement Organizer

UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s union for hospitality workers, is seeking an entry-level or experienced Contract Enforcement Organizer to work with members on workplace issues. Organizers work with members to build the leadership and solidarity necessary to build a progressive and strong labour union.

UNITE HERE is a progressive labour union, representing more than 270,000 workers in the hotel and food service industries across North America. These industries employ large numbers of women, recent immigrants and people of colour. For more information on UNITE HERE, please visit

Innovative organizing campaigns, deep rank-and-file member engagement and leadership development, as well as our strong training program make UNITE HERE an exciting place to create change and build power with workers in the service industry.

UNITE HERE’s goal is to not only organize non-union workers and win campaigns, but also to train effective progressive labour leaders and organizers who can develop creative and strategic campaigns to change the economic balance of power in North America.

Job Requirements:
– Commitment to fight for justice and organize the unorganized.
– Commitment to rank and file leadership development
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to move workers to take collective action and build power.
– Experience in a unionized environment and with grievances preferred

–Willingness to learn advanced grievance procedure work including but not limited to arbitrations, union negotiations, and Labour Board proceedings.
– Valid driver’s license and own car
– Previous experience as an organizer in the student, immigrant, LGBT, or environmental movement is valued.


This is a temporary 3 to 6-month position with possible extensions beyond that.  Full time and part time options are available.

To apply for the Organizer position, please email your resume and cover letter to Mike Biskar at