On Thursday, September 20, hundreds of Coast Hotel workers in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria and Prince George took another step in their fight for a fair contract. Workers buttoned up with “Fair Contract” buttons began handing out “Real People Deserve Real Wages and Benefits,” leaflets to hotel customers. The flyers pointed out that Coast had only offered an 8 cent raise to workers in bargaing, a gesture that many Coast workers find offensive. Coast Hotels prides itself on its “Real People” advertising campaign, yet employees struggle to earn family-supporting wages and adequate health care benefits. (pictured at left, Nanaimo hotel workers on leafletting duty)
Lisa Larson, a banquet worker at the Coast Bastion, commented on the 8 cent cent contract offer Thursday during a gathering of several hundred Adrian Dix supporters in the Nanaimo hotel, “at a time when the federal goverment is doing away with the penny, Coast Hotels is embracing it.” Larson also told the gathering about the Coast workers struggle for fair health care, “I’ve worked at Coast Hotels for 24 years and I’ve had health care coverage for only 12 of those years.”
In an addition to fair wages, Coast workers are fighting for equality of health care eligibility. Currently, workers in Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince George and Kelowna have a health care plan that is inferior to the plan at Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver. “Just because we don’t live in Vancouver doesn’t mean we’re second class citizens. “We work just as hard as Vancovuer workers, with the same dedication to Coast Hotels. We deserve a fair contract.”
UPDATE: October 5, 2012
Bargaining took place on October 3 and 4 in Nanaimo. Here is management’s latest proposal:
NO to enough money to maintain current health care benefits
NO to enough money to make any real improvement to hours of eligibility
NO to enough money to make any real improvements to extended health benefits, dental and vision
NO to any reduction in housekeeping workload
NO to sick days
NO to fair banquet pool shares by reducing casual shares and management pays, from their share, any grats to managers or sales staff
NO to guaranteeing that working supervisors will not be used to discipline or schedule other union members
NO to a retroactive wage increase and only a 65 cent wage increase over 3 years
3 cents more on their pension proposal
The Union has requested a meeting with a mediator, but we still believe that management needs to respond to the clear demands of the majority of Bastion, Capri, Harbourside and Inn of the North workers. The Union will be meeting with the Committee in each city to discuss next steps in winning the contract all Coast workers and their families need and deserve.
On September 6, the Coast committee and their co-workers delivered a petition calling for a fair contract to the Coast general managers. Over 85% of workers in Prince George, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Victoria signed the petition.
On September 10 and 11, the Union Bargaining Committee met with Coast management in Kelowna. Management made the following first economic proposal:
Wages: 2% increase over 3 years
Health Care: insufficient money to improve or maintain benefits
Pension: 9 cents over 3 years
Lowering hours for eligibility: NO
Sick Days: NO
Housekeeping Workload Reduction: NO
To keep moving forward, the Union gave Coast two comprehensive contract proposals, but Coast refused to make a second move at the bargaining table. The bargaining committee then demanded a full written economic and language proposal from Coast management. The next move is now up to Coast.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume October 3 and 4 in Nanaimo.
Nanaimo, BC – Negotiations for a new Union contract for Coast workers in Prince George (Coast Inn of the North), Kelowna (Coast Capri), Victoria (Coast Harbourside) and Nanaimo (Coast Bastion) have begun.
Our Bargaining Committee is pushing a bold economic proposal to increase wages, strengthen the pension, and establish sick days, but the Committee’s top priority is to improve health care. We are focusing on lowering eligibility hours so workers and their families will have access to coverage year around and on increasing the outdated benefit levels so workers can afford to go to a physiotherapist or a dentist.
The next round of bargaining is now scheduled for August 9th and 10th in Victoria at the Coast Harbourside Hotel.
Negotiations are also underway at Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver where the Union and management have made progress on workplace issues, especially with Room Attendant workload, but have not reached an agreement due to the Company’s economic proposal.
COMING SOON – HIR NEGOTIATIONS: Provincial bargaining with the more than 50 hotels in Victoria, Harrison, Vancouver, New Westminster, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Kamloops, Prince George, Fort St. John, Mackenzie, Terrace, Prince Rupert and other communities will begin on July 17th, 5PM at Empire Landmark Hotel. These hotels are all represented by Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR). Stay tuned for more updates.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia workers ratified their new, first-time union contract by a vote of 97% yesterday. The Hotel Georgia workers achieved the downtown Vancouver contract standard–and more! Joining their co-workers at the Westin Bayshore, Four Seasons, Renaissance and Hyatt Regency, Hotel Georgia members built a strong committee, organized and successfully fought to achieve secure, family-supporting jobs.
Welcome to our new Local 40 members!
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!