Airline Catering Workers at YVR Airport Issue 72-Hour Strike Notice

Vancouver — Airline catering workers who are employed by Gate Gourmet and serve dozens of airlines at Vancouver International Airport have issued a 72-hour strike notice after voting 98% in favour of strike action. Potential strike action could impact Air Canada, Air France, and KLM and other airline clients of Gate Gourmet. UNITE HERE Local 40 filed the strike notice, which authorizes workers to take job actions, up to and including a strike, after a series of fruitless bargaining sessions. The strike vote comes amidst staff shortages at YVR Airport, resulting in heavier workloads for employees, and delays for travellers.

While big airlines such as Air Canada gave $10 million in executive bonuses after receiving a $5.9 billion bailout from the Canadian government, contracted airline catering workers were left behind. Protracted pandemic layoffs led to a significant reduction in airline catering staff, and staffing levels have yet to recover as air travel has rapidly resurged. Airline catering workers prepare meals for pre-flight assembly, load aircraft trolleys with beverages, snacks, and duty-free items, and deliver, load, and unload directly on the aircraft with critical turnaround times to ensure flights depart on time.

“Airline catering workers have been working day in and day out, serving travellers through the pandemic. As tourism came back this year and consumer prices hit 31-year highs, we are overworked and underpaid. We’ve attempted to address these issues in good faith with the company, but they continue to propose low wage increases and cuts to our health benefits. This has left us with no other choice but to issue a strike notice,” said Kiran Hundal, a Gate Gourmet tray assembly worker and bargaining committee member.

UNITE HERE Local 40 members at Gate Gourmet at the Vancouver International Airport are part of the world’s largest independent provider of airline catering, which serves about 250 million meals a year to customers internationally.

Media Contact: Michelle Travis, 778-960-9785, mtravis@unitehere.org.

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

Media Advisory: Airline Catering Workers at YVR Airport to Hold Press Conference 

Vancouver, B.C.Airline catering workers who are employed by Gate Gourmet and serve dozens of airlines at Vancouver International Airport, will hold a press conference today, July 27, at YVR Airport. The workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, are currently in bargaining with management over wage increases and better healthcare benefits. While big airlines such as Air Canada gave $10 million in executive bonuses after receiving a $5.9 billion bailout from the Canadian government, contracted airline catering workers have been left behind. 

WHO:        Over a dozen airline catering workers and allies

WHERE: Vancouver International Airport (Air Canada Check-in at Terminal M – Main Terminal), 3211 Grant McConachie Way, Richmond

WHEN: TODAY, Wednesday, July 27, 11 a.m

VISUALS:     Airline catering workers chanting and speaking with colourful banners, signs, and bullhorns.

 Media availability with UNITE HERE Local 40 representatives and airline catering workers.

For interviews immediately or upon request, please contact:
Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, sfung@unitehere40.com

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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.

Don’t Mourn, Organize! (Local 40 featured in TradeTalk)

UNITE HERE Local 40 is on the move!  Over the last two years, we have had roughly 500 new camp and culinary workers join Local 40 on projects throughout Northern B.C.

Local 40’s camp organizing is featured in the latest edition of TradeTalk Magazine – click on: “Don’t Mourn, Organize!” to learn more.

Jericho Tennis Club Workers Win Big Increases Amidst Record High Inflation in Vancouver

Vancouver, BC — Workers at Jericho Tennis Club, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, have reached a new collective agreement and secured significant wage increases to meet the rising cost of living. This victory comes as Vancouverites are seeing the highest levels of inflation in decades.

Highlights of the new collective agreement include total wage increases of more than 10% over the course of the 3-year agreement, retroactive wage increases back to last fall, and contract language that ensures more employees will have access to quarterly bonuses.

“We’re happy to win our new collective agreement because these raises will allow all of us to better provide for our families,” said Lyndon Roberts, bargaining committee member and a Groundsperson at the Club.

“Negotiating the collective agreement at Jericho took a strong team effort of our bargaining committee, and all of the union members who participated. Keep up the good work and more victories will come,” said Quinton Heddema, bargaining committee member and long-term Cook.

“With inflation at its highest rate in decades, BC hospitality employers need to fairly compensate employees for their hard work. We want to thank the management of Jericho Tennis Club for working with us to reach an agreement that allows our union members to move forward,” said Mike Biskar, Organizer at UNITE HERE Local 40.

UNITE HERE Local 40 represents thousands of BC hospitality workers, including over 350 employees at private member clubs across the Lower Mainland.

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UNITE HERE Local 40 is a labour union representing workers in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.

200 Camp Workers Deliver Signed Petition, Urge LNG Canada to Extend 12% Wage Increase to Contracted Workers

Kitimat, BC — Today, nearly 200 contract camp workers who work on the LNG Canada site in Kitimat delivered a petition to management urging the company to increase their wages by 12%. This comes after LNG Canada announced a 12% wage increase to all building trades workers earlier this month. The contract camp workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s camp workers union.

Contract workers on the LNG Canada site include janitors, housekeepers, front desk, and culinary employees, who were left out of the 12% wage increase that the company announced to building trades workers. These contract workers are the lowest-paid employees on the pipeline. Compared to other LNG Canada workers, many contract workers are also women, Indigenous, and people of colour. 

So far, the petition has garnered close to 200 signatures from workers at Civeo at Sitka Lodge, Horizon North Dexterra at the LNG site, and Crossroads Lodge. The petition details how the wage increase addresses concerns of skyrocketing inflation and living costs for building trades workers, yet most contract workers on the pipeline who were excluded from the wage increase live paycheque to paycheque.

“Us janitors worked through Covid. We played a significant role ensuring LNG Canada’s Kitimat plant continued to run during the pandemic by protecting people’s health and safety. Along with housekeepers, front desk, and culinary workers, we are the backbone of this project and deserve to be treated with respect,” said Murray Innes, LNG janitor from the Gitxaala Nation.

“Housekeepers, janitors, and culinary workers are an integral part of the progression of the pipeline and we should not be treated as second class workers. That’s why those of us from Civeo at Sitka Lodge, Horizon North Dexterra at the LNG site, and Crossroads Lodge, are backing this petition. LNG Canada needs to recognize the hard work we do and extend the 12% wage increase to us immediately!” said Monika Schuster, housekeeping supervisor at Civeo at Sitka Lodge.

Media Contact: Stephanie Fung, sfung@unitehere40.com, 604-928-7356

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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.