The membership of Unifor Local 4276 voted overwhelmingly on April 12 to ratify a new three-year contract with their employer at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
“Unifor members at the Fairmont Empress have secured a strong collective agreement and have helped set the table for upcoming negotiations in the hospitality sector,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Congratulations on a job well done.”
The new three-year collective agreement increases wages 14.5% over the term, plus a Cost of Living Adjustment of an additional 1.5% in the third year. The contract also secures a more manageable workload and establishes mandatory breaks to help reduce physical strain for workers in the housekeeping department.
“Hospitality workers are at the centre of British Columbia’s tourism and convention industry. This contract is a historic step forward for both wages and health and safety,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director.
Workers at the Fairmont Empress will also receive higher pension and RRSP matching from the employer, an increase to gratuities, improved severance payments, enshrined paid sick days, and stronger recall provisions.
As the leading union for hotel workers in British Columbia, this ground-breaking collective agreement will not only benefit workers at the Fairmont Empress but will be used by Unifor as the benchmark for bargaining with the union’s other hospitality groups and for organizing non-union hotel workers.
Unifor Local 4276 represents almost 450 workers in the housekeeping, culinary, groundskeeping, serving, guest relations, maintenance, and engineering departments. Later this year, Unifor members at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and the Coast Coal Harbour will be negotiating new contracts.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.