After more than a year at the bargaining table, hospitality workers at 46 hotels, pubs and liquor stores in BC have voted “YES” to a strike and to better standards for hospitality workers. Workers from Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, Kamloops, Harrison Hot Springs, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John and other communities voted to authorize strikes at their workplaces in response to the lack of progress in bargaining to date.
Workers are saying “NO” to:
-wage increases that average only 13 cents a year in upscale hotels like the Wedgewood Hotel and Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel; and average between 3 cents – 6 cents a year in smaller hotels;
-inferior medical and pension benefits;
-second-class benefits for workers outside Vancouver;
-heavy housekeeping workloads; and
-lack of banquet service charge transparency.
The workers’ contract expired May 31, 2012. Local 40 is bargaining with Hospitality Industrial Relations, which represents the multi-employer group.
After a year of bargaining, hotel workers are standing up throughout BC to fight for better standards on the job. In Nanaimo, workers from Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel and their supporters from the Nanaimo Duncan & District Labour Council rallied on July 5, 2013. Howard Johnson workers are saying “NO” to an aggregate wage increase of only 25¢ over four years and to LESS money toward their health and pension benefits than what is being offered to workers in the Lower Mainland. This would make their benefits inferior to what a fellow member would receive in Vancouver!
Howard Johnson is one of dozens of hotels and pubs currently in multi-employer bargaining across the province. Hotel workers in Vancouver have also rallied in recent months at Wedgwood Hotel, Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown , Best Western Chateau Granville, and elsewhere to protest the offer tabled by management.
Check back for more updates on hotel bargaining in BC.
Over 300 Vancouver International Airport (YVR) concession workers employed by Host have joined UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s hospitality workers union. Starbucks, White Spot, Burger King and retail workers have united with nearly 200 previously unionized YVR concessions workers to raise standards for all concession workers at YVR. This effort was led by Union and non-union workers who mobilized to win recognition and a contract for non-union Host workers. This organizing victory is a direct result of Local 40 members winning their 2010 strike and lockout, which centered on the issue of job security at YVR.
This is a particularly important victory for airport concession workers, many of whom work two or three jobs in order to support themselves and their families. They also face the perennial threat of having their units closed, putting some workers at risk of losing their jobs. Together, we will raise standards and fight to create good, stable jobs at YVR.
On February 25, 2013, Local 40 members elected a new President, Robert Demand, and a new Executive Board composed of Local 40 members from around British Columbia. Secretary-Treasurer, Shelly Ervin and Vice President, Lorrie Dyer, were re-elected to their previously held positions. Below is a list of the newly elected Executive Board and Trustees:
- Gulzar Grewal, Room Attendant, Coast Plaza Hotel, Vancouver
- Lisa Larson, Banquets, Coast Bastion Inn, Nanaimo
- Bruna Padularosa, Cold Prep, Compass at SFU, Burnaby
- Raul Cruz, Banquets, Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
- Jimmy Khan, Engineer, Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond
- Leine Neilsen, Room Attendant, Hyatt Regency, Vancouver
- Margaret Prieston, Room Attendant, Ramada Inn, Prince George
- Edward Leung, Equipment Handling, Gate Gourmet at YVR, Richmond
- Noy Paguio, Room Attendant, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver
- Heather Flatt, Room Attendant, Coast Capri, Kelowna
- Abraham Rodriguez, Busperson, Renaissance Hotel, Vancouver
- Teresa South, Room Attendant, Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria
- Fipe Wong, Cook, HMS Host at YVR, Richmond
- Dianne Melville, Houseperson, Sheraton Vancouver Airport, Richmond
- Naden Abenes, Room Attendant, Hyatt Regency, Vancouver
- Guy Gazeley, Event Supervisor, Rogers Arena, Vancouver
Congratulations to the new Executive Board and to the newly elected and re-elected officers of UNITE HERE Local 40!