Job Posting: Social Justice Union Organizer (Vancouver)

UNITE HERE Local 40, BC’s union for hospitality workers, is seeking a Social Justice Union Organizer to recruit, train and mobilize workers to win strong workplace standards. We are committed to developing rank-and-file leadership, organizing the unorganized, and to building a strong, fighting labour union.

Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to working for social justice through a strong a labour movement. The successful applicant we are looking for is driven, courageous, open to feedback, hard working, and a fighter with a deep commitment to social change. The position entails irregular hours including work in the evenings and weekends.

 

Job Duties:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to move workers to take collective action and build power.
  • Identify and meet with worker leaders to recruit and train them as union leaders for their particular workplace campaign, in union and non-union settings.
  • Promote rank and file leadership development.
  • Identify workplace issues, learn the relevant collective agreement language, and pursue resolution through the grievance and arbitration procedures.
  • Plan, develop, implement, and evaluate union recruitment strategies including policies, programs, and procedures.
  • Develop and establish member training material and sessions.
  • Organize and participate in meetings and demonstrations.
  • Frequently attend multiple distant locations within a short time span in order to meet with workers at their homes and other sites. Many of these locations will not be easily accessible by public transit.
  • Must have a valid drivers’ license.

 

Job Requirements:

1 year of experience as a labour/union organizer, rank and file union activist, and/or experience working with the student, immigrant, LGBTQ+, and/or environmental activist communities.

Salary: $60,000 starting salary but commensurate with experience.

Contact: 

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume outlining relevant experience and including references to updates@unitehere40.com. Only candidates meeting all requirements will be contacted for interviews.

Press Release: YVR Airport Ends Ride Reimbursement Program Impacting Low Wage Workers

Low-paid food service workers, a majority racialized women, forced to spend hundreds out of pocket on transit costs

 

Richmond, BC – YVR International Airport suddenly on February 1st ended their transit reimbursement program which covers Uber and taxi rides for all airport staff who work outside of SkyTrain hours. This forces already low-paid food service workers to spend hundreds of dollars on ride costs in order to work their scheduled shifts at the airport, which can start or end between 1AM to 5AM.

 

UNITE HERE Local 40 – which represents YVR food service workers – has filed a Labour Board complaint against one of YVR’s largest food service operators, SSP Canada Food Services, for not reinstating its own long-standing practice of reimbursing staff for Uber and taxi rides outside of SkyTrain hours, which pre-dated the YVR program. YVR Airport began its own ride reimbursement program during the pandemic when food service operational hours were extended, at which point SSP discontinued its own program. SSP has not agreed to reinstate its own practice as of February 1st.

 

“I start my shift at the airport at 5:30AM, and I live in East Vancouver,” said Alexis Garciano, a worker at Sal Y Limon at YVR. “To get to there on time, I now have to pay for my Ubers early in the morning which is costing me an extra $100/week. I can’t change my work schedule either, because I have a son who I need to take care of in the afternoons. I’m an international student who also has to pay for my rent and tuition fees. For only getting paid $19.50/hour for my work at the airport, this added transit cost really hurts me and my family.”

 

YVR Airport generated $492 million in 2022 and is on track to exceed that figure in 2023. Meanwhile, hundreds of food service workers at YVR Airport earn well below Metro Vancouver’s living wage of $25.68; recent Union data shows the average food service wage to be only $18.27. A large majority of these workers are racialized women. In addition to their low wages at the world-class airport, some of these workers now have to pay up to $150 per week just to get to work.

 

“I’m a cook and I only accepted 4:30AM starting shifts because I was told I would be reimbursed for ride costs to the airport,” said Jennie Padilla, from Sal Y Limon at YVR. “I already have to pay for my own Compass transit card, and at times when public transit is not an option for workers, we should be reimbursed for rides needed to get to our jobs. YVR set our new earlier opening time, but now they are making the workers suffer by making us pay to get to work. Personally, it’s costing me around $25 every time I need to take an Uber to my morning shift, because no other options are available. This isn’t right, and I’m going to keep standing up for myself and for my coworkers until YVR shows us respect.”

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, sharan@unitehere40.com, 604-710-1693

Press Release: City of Burnaby to Urge Bridge Studios Owner Larco to Provide a Fair Wage Settlement for Striking Hotel Workers

Council will urge studio owner, Larco, to offer fair settlement after eight-month strike at Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel

 

Burnaby, BC — Burnaby City Council unanimously passed a motion on Monday for the City to support Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel strikers and to write a letter to Bridge Studios’ owner Larco Investments, the owner of the hotel, urging them to provide a fair wage settlement to workers. This followed a delegation to Council representing the hundreds of workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel – members of UNITE HERE Local 40 – now in their eighth month on strike. In addition to owning the Sheraton, Hilton, and Marriott Vancouver Airport hotels where picket lines are up, Larco also owns Bridge Studios in Burnaby.

 

The BC Labour Board deemed the Sheraton, Marriott, and Hilton Vancouver Airport hotels a common site and is permitting striking Sheraton workers to picket the perimeter of the hotels. The BC Federation of Labour, representing nearly fifty affiliated unions with approximately 500,000 members across the province, has declared a public boycott of the hotel complex. Last month Richmond City Council passed motions to not use the three hotels until a new collective agreement is reached with the striking workers. The workers, many who reside in Burnaby, are fighting for pay increases that will bring them to Metro Vancouver’s current living wage of $25.68 per hour.

 

“We thank Burnaby Council for their solidarity with us as we continue in our fight for living wages,” said Shaelyn Arnould, striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel worker and Burnaby resident. “In 2021, the City of Burnaby supported our locked-out Hilton Metrotown members by not spending any city money at the hotel until a fair contract was reached. Their support was pivotal for hotel workers, and again Burnaby Council has shown they support the continuation of good, family-supporting hotel jobs.”

 

Larco owns the three Richmond hotels – making up the largest hotel complex in BC – as well as a series of movie studios under the banner Bridge Studios in Burnaby. Bridge Studios is a job creator in Burnaby with a major footprint in the city; Bridge Studios has properties on Boundary Way and Griffiths Drive, as well as an additional studio in development on Lake City Way.

 

“By sending a letter to Larco in support of the strikers, the City of Burnaby is demonstrating their commitment to fair wages for workers in Burnaby and across our province. Our strike is about earning enough to live, and we will continue in our fight until Larco treats hospitality workers with the respect we deserve,” said Shaelyn Arnould.

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1693, sharan@unitehere40.com

Media Advisory: Striking Hotel Workers to Urge Burnaby City Council to Support Fight for a Living Wage and Boycott the Sheraton, Marriott, and Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotels

Burnaby, BC — TODAY, a delegation of striking Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers will speak before Burnaby City Council to urge the City not to spend any public money at the Sheraton, as well as it’s sister hotels – the Marriott and Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotels – until the labour dispute is resolved. The BC Labour Board deemed the three hotels, operated by Larco Hospitality, a common site and is permitting striking workers to picket the perimeter of the hotels. Now in their seventh month on strike, Sheraton Vancouver Airport workers – represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 – will ask the Council to support their fight for a living wage from the employer and respect their boycott of these Richmond hotels. Larco also owns Bridge Studios, based in Burnaby.

Last month, Richmond City Council passed resolutions in support of the striking workers and will not support events or promote any business with the hotels until a new collective agreement is reached. The workers, many who reside in Burnaby, are fighting for pay increases that will bring them to Metro Vancouver’s living wage of $25.68 per hour.

 

Delegation Details

When: TODAY, Monday, February 12

Where: Burnaby City Hall, 4949 Canada Way, Burnaby

Time: 5PM

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, sharan@unitehere40.com, 604-710-1693

Press Release: Richmond City Council Votes to Not Do Business with Sheraton, Marriott, and Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotels

Resolution supports Richmond Workers’ Fight for a Living Wage

 

Richmond, BC —Richmond City Council unanimously passed a motion on Monday for the City to not use the Sheraton, Marriott, and Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotels in support of Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel workers fighting for living wages, now in their seventh month on strike. A delegation representing the hundreds of workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel – members of UNITE HERE Local 40 – presented to Council. City Councillors were urged not to spend any public money at the Sheraton, as well as its sister hotels – the Marriott and Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotels – all behind picket lines, until the labour dispute at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel is resolved.

“I am very happy Richmond City Council is doing the right thing and passed a motion not to do business with the Sheraton, Marriott and Hilton YVR hotels,” said Felisha Perry, a striking banquet server at the Sheraton and a Richmond resident. “Our ongoing strike is fundamentally about earning enough to live. Council has shown they stand with working people fighting for a living wage and are helping us send a message to one of Canada’s wealthiest hotel owners to respect workers and resolve this dispute.”

In 2022, Richmond City Council adopted a resolution that they will not support events or promote any business with Pacific Gateway Hotel (since renamed Radisson Blu) until an agreement with the union has been reached. They acted accordingly on Monday, officially boycotting the Sheraton, Hilton, and Marriott Vancouver Airport hotels – the largest hotel complex in BC – until a new collective agreement is reached at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport. The BC Labour Board deemed the three hotels, operated by Larco Hospitality, a common site and is permitting striking workers to picket the perimeter of the hotels.

The workers, many who reside in Richmond, are fighting for pay increases that will bring them closer to Metro Vancouver’s living wage of $25.68 per hour.  The BC Federation of Labour, representing nearly fifty affiliated unions with approximately 500,000 members across the province, has declared a public boycott of the hotel complex.

 

Media Contact: Sharan Pawa, 604-710-1643, sharan@unitehere40.com