British Columbia

Longest hotel strike in B.C. history ends with vote in favour of new agreement

B.C.’s longest ever hotel worker job action has ended with a vote in favour of a collective bargaining agreement, and 97 workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic will be allowed to return to their positions, according to their union.

97 fired workers have won their jobs back at the Hilton Metrotown hotel in Burnaby, union says

The Hilton Metrotown hotel in Burnaby, B.C., pictured here. UNITE HERE Local 40 members at the hotel have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective agreement. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C.'s longest ever hotel worker job action has ended with a vote in favour of a collective bargaining agreement, and 97 workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic will be allowed to return to their positions, according to their union.

UNITE HERE Local 40 members at the Hilton Metrotown hotel in Burnaby voted 98 per cent in favour of a new contract with their employer, a statement from the union says.

Dozens of workers at the hotel have been out of work since April 15, 2021, the beginning of what management called a strike and the union called a lockout. The job action followed the firing of 97 housekeepers, front desk and kitchen workers.

The union's statement says all of those workers have won the right to return to the job, without loss of seniority or wages.

That includes Liza Secretaria, a night auditor and union bargaining committee member.

"I feel so proud of myself and my co-workers. 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," Secretaria said in the statement.

According to the union, the new agreement includes higher wages, protection of union health and pension benefits and new tip protections, while also preserving housekeeping jobs and re-instituting daily room cleaning.

The collective agreement expires on May 31, 2025.

In the time since the job action began, management has been running operations at the 283-room hotel.

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