Tentative agreement reached in Vancouver hotel strike

Pact is between employers and workers at Westin Bayshore, Hyatt Regency, Pinnacle Harbourfront and Four Seasons hotels

What happened: Vancouver’s lingering strike at four downtown Vancouver hotels appears to be coming to an end with news from the union that it has reached what it called a “tentative” agreement with management at the Westin Bayshore, Hyatt Regency, Pinnacle Harbourfront and Four Seasons hotels.

Why this matters: The strike was disrupting corporate events and putting a strain on guests at the hotels as well as prompting some guests to cancel their stays.No tentative agreement has yet been reached at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and picketing continues at that hotel, according to the union, Unite Here Local 40. The union did not say how bargaining is going between it and management at that hotel.

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Picket lines at all of the hotels have been moved to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and workers at the hotels where a tentative agreement has been reached are voting on the contract on Oct. 16. It is not clear when they would be back at work if they approve the agreement.

The Retail Council of Canada plans to go ahead with its Retail West conference at the Hyatt Regency on Oct. 16 and had told attendees to enter the hotel through the attached Royal Centre shopping mall as a way to avoid crossing a picket line.

BIV also reached out to the employers and did not get an immediate response.

The union said that the tentative agreement affects approximately 1,500 downtown Vancouver hotel workers.

“This ground-breaking agreement secures significant wage increases for hotel staff over a four-year period, implements protections against sexual harassment, strengthens job security for room attendants and kitchen and restaurant workers, and maintains health insurance,” the union said in a statement.

The union did not say whether employers increased their offer of 15 per cent over four years but said details would be forthcoming if workers approve the contract.

Pinnacle Hotel Habourfront room attendant supervisor Teresita Gonzales said in an emailed statement that she is “very happy about the workload reductions for room attendants.”

She also lauded job security and said that the workers feel “united and strong.”

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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