VICTORIA, March 3, 2020 /CNW/ - The Empress Hotel management's push for concessions at the bargaining table has forced members of Unifor Local 4276 to serve strike notice for 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 7.
"The Empress' owner needs to think again if he thinks we're going to let him degrade working conditions," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "You can't have a first-class hotel without first-class service and first-class working conditions."
With more than 12,000 members at hotels and casinos across the country, Unifor is one of largest Canadian unions in the hospitality and gaming sector. Hospitality is one of the largest employers in Canada, with more than 1.2 million people working in the sector. Unifor's collective agreements are helping lift traditionally low paid workers out of poverty while giving hotel workers a powerful voice.
One in twelve Canadian workers are employed in a hospitality establishment. The hospitality industry racks up $80 billion in annual sales and adds $35 billion to the Canadian GDP.
"We're confident that we can sign a new collective this week if the employer stops playing games with concessions," said James Griffin, Local 4276 President. "Unifor members at the Empress are committed to the future of this historic hotel, but we're not prepared to go backwards with our basic working conditions."
Local 4267 is seeking modest gains in wages, benefits, and workload. The Local represents almost 500 Empress workers in the housekeeping, culinary, groundskeeping, serving, guest relations, maintenance, and engineering departments.
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.
For further information: For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at [email protected] or 778-903-6549 (cell)