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]
WHAT: UNITE HERE Local 40 hotel members at Coast Bastion Hotel are on a one-day strike.
WHEN: Saturday, December 8, 2018; 6:30AM
WHERE: Coast Bastion Hotel, 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC
WHO: Approximately 100 hotel housekeepers, housemen, cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, food & beverage servers, front desk agents, bellman, maintenance workers and others.
WHY: As of 6:30AM, workers at the Coast Bastion Hotel walked off the job today for a one-day strike. The hotel’s housekeepers, cooks, food and beverage servers, front desk agents, bellman and others – all members of UNITE HERE! Local 40 – are taking strike action after months of bargaining in which Coast Hotels has failed to address demands for decent wage increases, has ignored room attendants crippling workloads, proposed just pennies in pension improvements, and wants to claw back workers’ tips.
Coast Bastion has been rated the brand’s #1 hotel. Nanaimo’s tourism industry has welcomed record numbers of visitors in recent years, in line with cities across British Columbia. While Coast Hotels is reaping the benefits of a tourism boom, the cost of living in Nanaimo is steadily increasing, yet Coast Bastion workers are falling behind.
“The Coast Bastion announced record revenues for several years in a row, yet all of us struggle to get by in Nanaimo. We work hard to make the Coast Bastion the brand’s hotel of the year, and we have walked off the job today to fight for wages and health benefits that we can actually live on,” says Garry Constable, a server at the Coast Bastion.
Coast Bastion is one of three Coast hotels bargaining together under a master agreement. Hotel workers at Coast Victoria Harbourside and Coast Inn of the North have raised similar issues across the chain.
“Too little progress has been made at the negotiating table for months, and we hope this one day strike sends a message to the company to get serious and listen to their staff, stop demanding servers share their tips with management, and start agreeing to safer and more sustainable workload for housekeepers,” say Local 40’s executive director, Robert Demand.
The next round of bargaining is scheduled for December 12-13.
For more information, please contact Octavian Cadabeschi at 604-813-2105 or [email protected]
New agreement includes significant raises and improves staffing
Contact: Octavian Cadabeschi
E-mail: [email protected]nitehere.org
Food service workers at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 have ratified a new contract with the airport’s food service provider, Compass Group, by an overwhelming margin. The new agreement end the long, protracted labour dispute and addresses workers’ concerns about low pay and unreasonably high workloads due to understaffing.
The workers, employed at YYJ’s White Spot, Tim Hortons, Starbucks, and Spinnakers on the Fly, will receive significant raises of up to 24% over the life of the agreement and retroactive bonuses. Most non-tipped workers will soon reach $15/hour by June 1 – well ahead of the BC Government’s scheduled minimum wage increases and ahead of most concession workers at competing airports, like Vancouver International Airport. The new agreement also establishes the first ever pension for food workers at YYJ and includes critical workload protections that will tackle understaffing.
“This is a foundational contract that reflects the hard work our members put into their jobs every day. We can now attract experienced workers to help with the chronic under-staffing and to help our team succeed as our workplace grows,” said Mark Atkins, lead cook at Spinnakers on the Fly.
Over the last 18 months, workers engaged in multiple job actions and demonstrations at YYJ. They were backed by the strong support of union allies, elected officials, community groups and passengers from the Greater Victoria region who demanded that contracted food workers at YYJ not be given second-class treatment.
“For too long, I have felt that my work here at the airport was undervalued. The wage increases and benefits we will receive with this new contract are starting to change that, so that I can afford to stay here and do the work that I love,” said Karlene Kipling, a cook at Spinnakers on the Fly.
The new contract will expire in 2020. YYJ’s contracted workers will continue to press the Victoria Airport Authority and the province to address contract flipping at airports and other institutions in B.C.