New agreement includes a $3 increase and significant medical improvements.
Contact: Octavian Cadabeschi
E-mail: [email protected]
Hotel workers at the Ramada Plaza in downtown Prince George have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with their employer today. The agreement brings to an end a protracted labor dispute at the hotel and significantly increases wages for a group of workers who have been the lowest paid union hotel workers in Prince George.
The workers, members of UNITE HERE! Local 40, will receive a wage increase of $3 per hour by June 2020, while some job classifications will receive even higher wage increases.
This agreement marks the third significant victory for Local 40 members in Prince George within the last six months, including contract settlements at UNBC and Coast Inn of the North. These settlements have improved the lives of over 200 families in Prince George.
“I am proud to be a member of UNITE HERE! Local 40. By being part of a union and supporting each other in workplaces across the city, hospitality workers have been able to win significant improvements to our standard of living,” said Stacey Moen, a cook at the Ramada.
Prince George’s labour movement significantly supported each of those victories. Allied unions attended demonstrations, withdrew their business during labour disputes, and encouraged members to respect picket lines when these disputes escalated toward strikes.
“We want to acknowledge the tremendous support from Prince George unions during our two-year long fight,” said Harley Augustino, Union Representative for Prince George. “Solidarity is our strength and we look forward to continuing to improve the lives of Prince George working families for years to come.”
Every vote counts! Cast your vote at the locations below. Bring your Voting Card with you, or 2 pieces of ID including one with your address.
For more information about voting please visit www.Elections.BC.ca.
Voting Dates & Places
Tues Jan 29th, 8am to 5pm
Elections Office (#201 – 65 Front Street)
Wed Jan 30th, 8am to 8pm
Elections Office (#201 – 65 Front Street)
Fairview Community School
Uplands Park Elementary School
Departure Bay Baptist Church
Beban Park Social Centre
Bowen Park Auditorium
Departure Bay Activity Centre
Hammond Bay Elementary School
NAN District Electoral Office
Nanaimo Christian School
Nanaimo Yacht Club
Protection Island Fire Hall
2019 General Membership Meetings
*Times & locations to be announced
Pursuant to Article 17, section 1(a) of the UNITE HERE Constitution there is a mandated $1.00 increase to dues for those who work 79 hours or less a month.
The minimum dues will increase from $31.65 to $32.65.
Dues will remain the same for members who work over 80 hours a month at 2 x hourly rate + $16.00.
UNITE HERE Local 40 files complaint with B.C. Human Rights Tribunal
Richmond, BC – When the Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport changed ownership a year ago, approximately 80% of the hotel staff were Chinese. The predominantly Chinese staff organized to join UNITE HERE Local 40, but within one year, management reduced the number of Chinese staff from 80% to 40%. Many of the workers are part of Richmond’s Chinese community and are experienced members of the hospitality industry.
The Four Points workers voted to unionize in February 2018 to have a voice on the job and to feel valued in their workplace. The employer has retaliated by firing a Chinese union supporter, who was later reinstated by order of the B.C. Labour Relations Board, terminated the predominantly Chinese food & beverage staff, reduced the hours of union supporters and has denied leave to workers who requested time to attend to health and family matters in China.
“UNITE HERE Local 40 wants to know why management appears to be targeting long term staff and members of the Chinese community,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE Local 40.
UNITE Here Local 40 is calling upon Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Richmond City Council to support Richmond’s Chinese workers and examine the practises of the hotel owner, Rajeev Nijjar – a developer and business owner in Richmond – over the hotel’s treatment of Chinese workers. The union contends that the City’s hotels should be good places for people who live in the community to work.
“The City of Richmond has an obligation to this community to ensure Mr. Nijjar is not targeting Chinese workers at his hotel,” says Chan.
Richmond has approximately 200,000 residents, roughly 54% of them Chinese.
“We want everyone at work to be treated fairly. I don’t understand why the hotel would want to remove Chinese employees when so much of our clientele is Chinese,” said Leung. “There are times when only one person on shift can speak Chinese, and this can make it hard to provide proper service to our guests in their language.”
Richmond’s Intercultural Advisory Committee has introduced an Intercultural Strategic Plan which states that Richmond’s Intercultural Vision is “for Richmond to be the most welcoming, inclusive and harmonious community in Canada.” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie proudly points out that Richmond is recognized internationally as “a model for cultural diversity and harmony.”
“Discrimination against Chinese workers does not align with Richmond as ‘a model for cultural diversity and harmony’ that the City hopes to be. The City of Richmond needs to examine why Chinese workers are being targeted for union activity at this Four Points hotel,” adds Local 40 President Zailda Chan.
Prince George – Today, Coast Hotel workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, and their labour allies held a demonstration at the Coast Inn of the North against the company’s lockout threat. On Tuesday, Coast Hotels issued a 72-hour lockout notice at Coast Inn of the North, Coast Bastion in Nanaimo, and Coast Victoria Harbourside. The move could affect more than 250 workers and their families in three cities as they head into the holiday season.
This escalating labour dispute comes as BC’s hotel industry has enjoyed record revenues in recent years. For months, Coast Hotels has failed to address workers’ demands for livable wage increases, protection from high workloads, an increased pension contribution, and an end to clawbacks of worker’s tips.
“I’ve worked at for Coast for 27 years. I have hip problems and hip surgery coming up. Our workload is so heavy that I take pain killers first thing in the morning just to work. I’m outraged that the company is threatening to lock us out right before Christmas. With what we’re paid, we live almost paycheck to paycheck. A lockout hurts my ability to pay my bills and my mortgage,” said Susan Bishop, a housekeeper at Coast Inn of the North.
Independent of the lockout notice, Laird Cronk, the new president of the BCFED, called for mediation between UNITE HERE Local 40 and Coast Hotels after workers at Nanaimo’s Coast Bastion held a one-day strike on Saturday. The union and the company are currently in mediation this Wednesday and Thursday. The Union has set a deadline of midnight on December 13 to reach a settlement and has called on the labour movement to pull business from the hotels if no deal is reached.
“The labour movement has loyally supported the Coast Inn of the North and we are outraged by the company’s lockout notice. Our support will be a thing of the past if the company continues with this aggressively anti-union action that hurts workers,” said Natalie Fletcher, President of the North Central Labour Council of BC. She continued, “Prince George unions are ready to pull their business from the Coast hotel if a settlement is not reached by midnight on Thursday. If the company locks workers out over the holidays, some of that business may never come back.”
For more information, please contact: Octavian Cadabeschi at 604-813-2105 or [email protected]