The bargaining committee for Fairmont Empress hotel workers reached a tentative agreement with the employer, staving off a potential strike this weekend.
Unifor Local 4276, which represents nearly 500 Empress workers, served a strike notice for 8 a.m. on March 7, but on Friday night a tentative agreement was reached meaning Empress workers will now vote on ratifying the contract this week.
“The bargaining committee successfully fought back concessions and achieved many of our goals for a new contract,” said James Griffin, Local 4276 President, in a press release.
According to the press release, more details about the agreement will be made available after the ratification meeting.
On Wednesday Jerry Dias, Unifor National President issued a statement saying, “The Empress’ owner needs to think again if he thinks we’re going to let him degrade working conditions. You can’t have a first-class hotel without first-class service and first-class working conditions.”
The local is seeking “modest gains in wages, benefits and workload.” It represents Empress workers in the housekeeping, culinary, groundskeeping, serving, guest relations, maintenance and engineering departments.
Unifor is the largest union in Canada’s hospitality and gaming sector, representing more than 20,000 members at hotels and casinos across the country.
— With files from Nina Grossman