Hotel Grand Pacific union threatens strike

Workers at the Hotel Grand Pacific on Victoria’s Inner Harbour have voted 85 per cent in favour of a strike if they don’t have a deal in place by the end of this month.

“Other hotels in B.C. have signed onto a pattern agreement, but the Hotel Grand Pacific refuses to join the norm,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “Local 114 members deserve what other hotel workers have achieved, so the Grand Pacific is risking a major customer service interruption to buck the trend.”

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The existing contract covers about 150 workers in housekeeping, culinary, groundskeeping, serving, guest relations, maintenance, and engineering.

That deal expires Sept. 1.

Hotel general manager Reid James said he wasn’t all that concerned about the state of negotiations, which he pointed out continue this week with a mediator.

“We met with the union in June for a couple of days and we really didn’t get far into the collective agreement as they were bargaining with hotels in Vancouver at the same time,” he said.

The union appears to be dangling a disruption over the Labour Day long weekend as an incentive to get a deal done.

“The employer can choose to give its workers what is the norm in the hotel industry, or it can begin a service disruption on a busy long weekend,” said Mario Santos, Unifor’s lead negotiator.

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