Calgary – February 15, 2020 – UFCW Local 401 members working at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Calgary Downtown hotel have achieved a new union contract that provides wage gains, better benefits, and a new floater day. The ratification vote came nearly two years after the Alberta Labour Relations Board ruled that UFCW 401 be certified as the hotel workers’ official bargaining agent after an employee was fired for their support of unionization.
“This is an important symbol for Alberta hotel workers who might want to unionize,” says UFCW Local 401 Secretary Treasurer Richelle Stewart. “If you want to form a union, we will help you do that. And if you do, even though it is a risk when employers break the law, we still will do everything in our power to ensure you get a dignified first union contract,” she adds.
Highlights of the first collective agreement include:
- Wage increases of 2 percent per year for all employees over a five-year term (including 2 percent for every hour worked going back to January 2019);
- All current employment standards protections, including job-protected leaves of absence;
- Improved health benefits;
- A fresh start clause, where previous discipline records for employees are eliminated;
- A union office space located in the hotel;
- A floater day off to be taken at any time during the year; and
- A holy day option, where employees can choose to switch a statutory holiday for another day consistent with their faith.
“As a union, we are committed to member-driven and transparent negotiations,” says UFCW Local 401 President Thomas Hesse. “That practice is what enables people to fight their own fights, with a union by their side, and win on their own terms. This contract is a spectacular example for all working Albertans who are seeking and deserve a better life,” he adds.
UFCW Local 401 is Alberta’s largest private sector union with 32,000 members working in food processing, retail, education, health care, hospitality, and security services. To learn more about UFCW 401 and its outstanding work, visit the Local Union’s website.
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