Within months of the election of the right wing government of Jason Kenney in Alberta, Unifor is growing in the province with a strong vote by workers at the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire hotel to join Unifor.
“These workers showed real determination to join Unifor, even in the face of anti-union legislation being brought in by Kenney,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan said the workers at the hotel showed great strength and solidarity throughout the campaign.
“Thanks to their hard work, supported by the Organizing Department, they have a voice in their workplace at a time when their provincial government is trying to take it away.”
The 170 workers at the hotel voted by a two-thirds majority to join Unifor last week. The votes were counted Tuesday after a dispute over membership was settled with the employer.
Unifor’s newest members in the hospitality sector includes housekeeping, food and beverage, banquet, front desk, maintenance and other staff. They join Unifor’s approximately 20,000 gaming and hospitality members across Canada.
Understaffing, workload and deteriorating working conditions were the top issues in the organizing drive, which was led by many of the original workers at the landmark downtown hotel, build in 1999.
Besides labour law changes limiting overtime and holiday pay, and cutting the minimum wage for young workers, Kenney eliminated automatic certification for new bargaining units introduced by the previous NDP government just two years ago.