ANNOUCEMENT: General Membership Meeting

On May 22, 2019, the Local 40 Executive Board voted to recommend that the Local move its office to a new location in downtown Vancouver upon the completion of its current lease on September 30, 2019.

Local 40’s President calls for a Special Membership Meeting for the purpose of reviewing and voting on this recommendation.

The Special Membership Meeting shall be held:

Friday, June 7 at 5pm
SFU Harbour Centre
UPDATE: Room HC1530

See attached image for more info:

Press Release: YVR Airport CEO says no guarantee of successor rights for contracted food workers

Contract-flipping at YVR may continue despite looming changes to provincial, federal code

Vancouver – UNITE HERE Local 40, which represents contracted foodservice workers at YVR Airport, held a press conference today to urge Vancouver Airport Authority to rehire the 90 foodservice workers who work at three contracted units and who stand to lose their jobs due to contract-flipping.

As the NDP Government tables legislation to amend the BC Labour Code and extend successorship protections to contracted foodservice workers, Vancouver Airport Authority CEO Craig Richmond says YVR will only promise job interviews for the 90 workers at HMSHost, the operator of the airport White Spot, Brioche Doree and Burger King.  Mr. Richmond said at a YVR’s recent annual meeting they won’t guarantee the 90 workers will be rehired by incoming contractors – despite the forthcoming law change. YVR retendered HMSHost’s contract and awarded the bid to a new contractor who will takeover operation of the outlets in fall 2019 and early 2020.

“We want YVR, as a community leader, and an economic leader, to embrace the new successorship law.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  YVR should make it their policy that all YVR contractors must hire current staff and that workers keep their wages, their benefits, and their union contract, said Robert Demand, Executive Director, UNITE HERE Local 40.

Federal and provincial levels of government have acted recently to address contract-flipping.  In December, the federal government passed legislation that will protect some workers in federally-regulated sectors from contract-flipping, such as security guards and maintenance staff at airports.  At the provincial level, the B.C. government recently made changes that protects workers from contract-flipping in the health care sector.  The Province recently introduced legislation to reform the BC Labour Code, including the extension of successorship protections to contracted foodservice, janitorial, security and transportation workers.

For more information contact: Michelle Travis at (778) 960-9785 or [email protected]

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Vancouver’s hotel workers hold protest at Rosewood Hotel Georgia – Workers demand better industry standards and call for an end to precarious work

Vancouver – Hotel workers from downtown Vancouver’s most prestigious hotels, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, held a protest on Tuesday, May 14th outside of Rosewood Hotel Georgia, named the #1 hotel in Canada by U.S. News & World Report. Rosewood Hotel Georgia, a luxury hotel charging up to $7,000 per night for a suite, should be leading the industry in terms of decent working conditions for Vancouver’s hotel workers. At a time of record profits, workers are demanding that the hotel and others in the downtown core offer 5-star working conditions, including full-time jobs.

Over 1,500 UNITE HERE Local 40 members from Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Four Seasons, Hyatt, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront are currently in contract negotiations demanding significant improvements for hospitality workers. Despite Vancouver’s tourism boom, the hotel industry has progressively cut workers’ hours, turning full-time positions into on-call, precarious jobs. This makes it difficult for hotel workers, predominantly women, to achieve liveable incomes.

Vancouver’s downtown hotel workers are fighting for full-time hours, safe workloads, an end to gender discrimination, and higher wages in order to provide for their families in North America’s most expensive city. Job security is also a major concern in these negotiations, and especially critical for workers at the Four Seasons which is set to close in January 2020. Four Seasons workers want to be rehired when the hotel opens in a new location.

I am proud to be a hotel worker, but the hotel industry needs to treat us better. One recent summer, over 20 of my co-workers were on WCB because of injuries caused by the high workload in only two months. Even though my hotel is making tons of money, I don’t even have stable 40 hours of work,” said Nym Calvez, Housekeeper at the Pinnacle Hotel and an Executive Board Member of UNITE HERE Local 40.

It has become a widespread practice for hotel workers to be classified as a full-time employees, yet are routinely assigned less than 40 hours per week. The workers are required to be available on-call, making it difficult to search for a second job.

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Contact:

Sharan Pawa, 604-725-0053, [email protected]  

UNITE HERE urges Federal Ministers to protect Canadians data in hotels, nursing homes with ties to the People’s Republic of China

China’s latest threats cause concern over security, privacy risks

For Immediate Release

Vancouver, May 9, 2019 – UNITE HERE, the union for hospitality workers, is formally urging Ottawa to assess the security and privacy risks stemming from the Chinese government’s control of a Canadian nursing home chain and its ties to Canada’s largest hotel company.

Anbang, owner of nursing home chain Retirement Concepts, is controlled by the Chinese government and may have been behind the acquisition of InnVest Hotels.  In a letter* to Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains and Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, UNITE HERE urges the government to undertake a new assessment of the risks to Canadians in these sectors given escalating diplomatic tensions with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

UNITE HERE is asking Ottawa to examine Anbang and Bluesky and determine who has access to sensitive personal data managed on their behalf and to identify what protocols are in place to secure the personal, financial, medical and other sensitive information belonging to seniors, employees and hotel customers across Canada.

The PRC’s ties to the senior care and hospitality sectors may provide access to large troves of personally identifiable data on Canadians.  It was recently reported that China’s Ministry of State Security was behind the massive cyber attack against the Marriott hotel chain which compromised the personal information of nearly 500 million Starwood guests over a four-year period.

“China’s latest retaliatory actions against Canada and its history of cyber attacks is alarming.  We think an examination into whether the appropriate due diligence has been undertaken and an assessment of the potential risks to Canadians needs to be urgently addressed by the federal government,” said Zailda Chan, President of UNITE HERE’s British Columbia Local. 

An affiliate of Vancouver-based Pacific Reach Properties sold Retirement Concepts to Anbang in 2017.  Retirement Concepts is British Columbia’s largest senior care chain with two facilities in Alberta and one in Quebec.  Anbang was seized by Chinese authorities soon after and brought under state control after its CEO was sentenced to 18 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement.  The Chinese government holds a 98 per-cent stake in Anbang.

Last year, Ottawa blocked the sale of construction giant Aecon to CCCI over national security concerns.  The Chinese government holds a 64 per-cent stake in CCCI’s parent company.

Press reports have speculated that Anbang could be behind Bluesky’s acquisition of InnVest, Canada’s largest hotel owner. The ownership of Bluesky remains murky, but the CEO of its subsidiary, InnVest, is a former Anbang executive.  Bluesky owns the Hyatt Vancouver, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport, the Ottawa Marriott and nearly 80 other hotels in major cities across Canada.

Last month, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliament (NSICOP) warned in a report that China is a threat due to its efforts to engage in espionage and foreign influence activities in Canada.

“How is Ottawa, or even the companies managing nursing homes and hotels with ties to the Chinese government, prepared to protect thousands of seniors, employees and the travelling public from the PRC’s intelligence gathering efforts?” said Chan.

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 hospitality workers throughout Canada and the United States, including some who work in hotels owned by Pacific Reach Properties, which continues to operate Retirement Concepts, and Bluesky Hotels & Resorts.

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Contact:

Michelle Travis, [email protected], (778) 960-9785

*A copy of UNITE HERE’s letter to Minister Bains and Minister Goodale is available upon request.

 

Prince George Hospitality Workers Rising!

UNITE HERE! Local 40 members living in Prince George have won multiple contract victories across the city over the past six months. By supporting one another across several labour disputes, and with the support of allied unions and community members, Local 40 members have reached strong contract settlements that have improved the lives of hundreds of families in Prince George.

In October, cafeteria workers at the University of Northern British Columbia ratified a new agreement with their employer, the Compass Group, addressing longstanding concerns over low wages and narrowly averting a strike on campus.

Following closely on that victory, in December, workers at Prince George’s Coast Inn of the North reached a settlement alongside workers at the Coast Bastion in Nanaimo, and Coast Harbourfront in Victoria. The new contract includes wage increases, improvements to pension and medical benefits, and important workload protections for housekeepers.

Finally, this January, workers at the Ramada Prince George ratified a contract that enshrined major wage gains.

“The last few years have brought dramatic increases in the cost of living. Being part of a union like UNITE HERE! Local 40 is one of the best ways for hospitality workers like me to keep from falling behind,” said Stacey Moen, a cook at the Ramada Prince George.