On the Picket Line

British Columbia hotel workers win new contract, make gains

By Dan Grant
June 6, 2022

BURNABY, British Columbia — Hotel workers at the Hilton Metrotown here, who had been fighting a lockout by the bosses for 391 days, voted overwhelmingly to ratify a four-year contract May 11.

The workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, won full recall rights for 97 terminated workers without loss of seniority or wages. The new agreement restores housekeeping jobs and daily room cleaning that the bosses had previously eliminated. Also won were wage increases, protection of union health and pension benefits and gratuities, and stronger recall protections.

“We have shown Hilton Metrotown and other hotels in B.C. that hotel workers will stand up for respect and justice to raise standards in the industry,” Liza Secretaria, a night auditor and union bargaining committee member, said in a union statement. “We went through so much together during the lockout and the pandemic, but we’re stronger than ever now that we have fought for our co-workers to return and won a fair contract.”

At the nearby Pacific Gateway Hotel, May 12 marked one year on the picket line. The bosses terminated 143 staff and the fight to win back their jobs, benefits and pensions continues.