Whitehorse hotel workers vote to unionize

About 25 workers will join United Association union local in Whitehorse

Management say they respect workers' decision, as new contract to be negotiated.

The Whitehorse hotel is known for its tall mountie. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

A small group of workers in Whitehorse have voted to unionize.

The move could be an interesting precedent in Yukon’s tourism and hospitality industry.

The vote affects about 25 people who cook and serve in the bar and restaurant at the Coast High Country Inn.

Mathew Magoffin is the business manager for the United Association union local in Whitehorse. He said about 70 per cent of the 25 employees voted. He said a "vast majority" of those supported the union.

Magoffin said his union is not actively recruiting in Yukon's hospitality industry and was approached by staff.

"This group came to us and we just did our job as the bargaining agent to do the work," he said.

However, Magoffin added, "if others are interested definitely give me a call and we’ll see what we can do."

The union’s next move is sitting down with the employer and negotiating a contract.

Rich Thompson runs Northern Vision, the company that owns the hotel. He said it respects the result of the vote.

However, Thompson said most restaurants in Whitehorse are struggling and he hopes unionization doesn't result in increased costs.