Striking hotel workers in Vancouver have ratified a negotiated agreement between the UNITE HERE Local 40 union, representing the workers, and four major hotels in the city’s downtown area.
The agreement was reached with the Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore, Pinnacle Harbourfront and Four Seasons hotels. The new contract that was ratified by the vote will give the workers industry leading gains, including raises of up to 25%. In addition, new standards around workplace safety, sexual harassment and job security have been pioneered in the new contracts.
The ratification of these contracts ends a strike that had lasted 28 days at three of the hotels – the Hyatt, Westin and Pinnacle – plus the Four Seasons, which became part of the strike action near the end of this period.
The strike continues at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where almost two hundred hotel workers remain on the picket lines, but negotiations are continuing. “Hotel Georgia is in a different bargaining unit, so it is not affected by this tentative agreement with the other hotels,” says Sharan Pawa, communications specialist for UNITE HERE Local 40. “Their members remain on strike, and we have no agreement set up with that hotel at this time.”
In addition to establishing industry transforming wage standards, the new contracts include innovative sexual harassment protections, workload reductions and improvements in benefits and job security for restaurant and kitchen staff.
“Our members are key to the success of these luxury hotels, and they chose the sacrifice of striking in order to win improved working conditions, respect and a real future in this industry,” said Zailda Chan, president of UNITE HERE Local 40.
“We will now turn the momentum of this historic victory to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where our strikers have been without a contract for ten months and management has failed to offer acceptable working conditions, wages or security,” said Chan.