On November 14, 2011, UNITE HERE Local 40 members ratified a new union contract with the Hilton Metrotown Hotel by 89%. The new contract includes historic housekeeping workload relief language–the best in Canada–as well as key improvements to banquet workers’ compensation, pension contributions and wage increases for all Hilton workers.
The Hilton agreement achieves a new standard for hotel contracts in the Metro Vancouver area.
UNITE HERE’s housekeeping workload goals are always to make this work safer and more sustainable. The Hilton room attendants are now leading the way in this effort. Their new contract improvements include better access to supplies and equipment, a reduction in the number of floors housekeepers must travel daily, the strengthening of fair of assignment of work and no new duties assigned to room attendants without the Union’s consent.
Banquet department improvements include an increase in service charges and better transparency of banquet gratuities.
Additional hotel-wide contract improvements include a reduction in the number of hours required for health care coverage, pension contribution increases and significant wage increases.
The new contract was achieved through the hard work, organization and militancy of the Hilton Metrotown rank and file commitee leaders and their co-workers. The housekeeping and banquet departments were able to raise the bar for contract language in their areas by a high level of organization and mobilization of their co-workers.
On the way to achieving their historic contract, Hilton workers from all departments rallied at the hotel, delegated management, signed petitions, wore buttons and voted to strike by 92%
Hilton Metrotown workers received key support during their contract campaign from many loyal customers at the Hilton, including labour unions, progressive poltical leaders and community organizations. We encourage everyone to patronize the Hilton Metrotown.
Congratulations, Hilton Metrotown workers!
Compass/Chartwells food service workers at Simon Fraser University made great gains today in ratifying a new union contract. Demonstrating overwhelming support, Chartwells workers voted to ratify the new contract by 100%. In a strong show of interest, more than 80% of the total Chartwells workforce throughout the SFU campus turned out for the vote. The new contract includes solid wage gains, 100% health and dental coverage and new union rights. Chartwells food service workers at SFU work in outlets throughout the university including Tim Hortons, White Spot, Residents Dining Hall, Mackenzie Cafeteria, the DAC and C-Store. Chartwells is a division of food service contractor, Compass.
The Simon Fraser University administration is currently reviewing its contract with Compass and may be looking for a new food service contractor. UNITE HERE Local 40 union members are demanding that SFU guarantee their jobs in the event of a contractor change.
More than 100 food service workers on the Simon Fraser University campus, employed by Chartwells, are at risk of losing their jobs in the next year. Many of these workers are long-time members of the SFU community. Some have worked on campus for 15 or 20 years–or more! They work in Tim Hortons, White Spot, Mackenzie Cafeteria, Residents Dining Hall, the DAC and C-Store. The average wage of a Chartwells worker is $14/hour. All of the Chartwells workers count on these jobs to support themselves and their families. They can’t afford to lose their jobs if SFU changes food service contractors.
Eileen Leung (photo at right), a 19-year cook in Mackenzie Cafe, explains why her job is important to her and her family:
“I have 4 children. My husband died when the youngest was 4 years old. My youngest is now 26. I raised my kids by myself while working at SFU. I started working weekends and nights, but now because of seniority, I work days and get to be with my family on weekends. If SFU changes the food service contractor, we need to make sure we get re-hired, keep our jobs, keep our wages.”
There are many more Chartwells workers–the majority women–who’ve made great sacrifices to support their families while working at SFU.
Yorene Yu, a cook for 19 years, working in White Spot, says:
“I came to Canada from Shanghai in 1985. I have a degree in history and worked in a historical museum in China. I like the students at SFU. I like working in the SFU environment. I’m also supporting my two kids at university. One goes to SFU, one goes to Capilano. I need job security to support my family.”
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Host union members ratified a new three-year agreement which merges two separate contracts into one agreement. The new contract includes wage increases, stronger seniority and working hours language, and real coveted job security for the 200-plus airport concessions, retail and warehouse workers. A strong union committee in in sync with both local and international union coordination paved a way to a historic contract.
Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel workers won big improvements to their contract today, ratifying an agreement that achieves the new Vancouver hotel contract standard. Housekeeping workload relief, significant pension contribution increases, protected medical benefits, wage increases, improved union rights and more are part of the new contract.
Housekeeping workload improvements include more room drops for double-doubles and check-outs.
Better leave-of-absence language in the new contract makes it easier for Delta hotel workers to participate in organizer trainings as Local 40 focuses on new organizing.
Delta workers also won the ability to lower the numbers of hours worked to qualify for medical benefits.
Downtown Vancouver hotel workers led the fight for a new contract standard in full-service hotels. After a year of action, including demonstrations, rallies, delegations and a boycott at the Hyatt Regency, Local 40 members won a new contract that is charting a path for other hotel workers in the Vancouver Metro area.
Hilton Metrotown bargaining is up next. Stay tuned for updates.