On December 12, 2013, UNITE HERE Local 40 members who work in 47 hotels, pubs and liquor stores in British Columbia ratified their new collective agreement with 93% voting in favor.
Workers led the fight for nearly 18 months to reach a new contract with their employers. The gains in this contract were achieved as a result of the hard work led by the Union Bargaining Committee and through public actions in dozens of location.
The new contract addresses major concerns raised by workers and sets new standards for hospitality workers throughout the province. The new contract lowers eligibility for medical benefits to 20 hours/week which makes it easier for workers to maintain medical benefits through the slower, off-season months. The contract also provides for a prescription drug card and expands benefits for hospitality workers and their families. Workers will also receive good wage increases and improvements in their pensions.
As part of this contract fight, Sheraton Vancouver Airport workers held a 1-day strike. This was the first hotel strike in Metro Vancouver in a dozen years. Workers led other coordinated actions in their workplaces throughout BC. Together, they have raised standards for hospitality workers in BC.
Workers also received key support from customers, labour unions, elected officials, and community members during this contract campaign.