Unifor Local 112 members at the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto-Mississauga have ratified their first collective agreement after weeks of intense negotiations with the employer.
“It is always an important moment when members achieve a first contract. But these were particularly challenging negotiations, with so many hotels closed and others at or below ten per cent capacity,” said Scott McIlmoyle, Unifor Local 112 President. “I am deeply proud of the bargaining committee’s accomplishments in overcoming these incredibly difficult challenges to make substantial gains for our members.”
Unifor represents 40 members at the Hilton Garden Inn including kitchen, maintenance, laundry, banquet, server, bartending and housekeeping staff.
The bargaining unit’s first contract establishes a new relationship between management and workers stipulating that management can no longer do union work and the establishment of grievance and arbitration procedures, shop stewards, and labour-management meetings. Unifor workplace harassment and discrimination language, including investigation procedures, and the women’s advocate program will be introduced for the first time.
“Our Hilton Garden Inn members joined our union late last year before the pandemic devastated the industry,” said John Turner, Unifor Local 112 Vice-President. “Thanks to their foresight, workers were able to build and vote on a contract that benefits them and ensure their voices will be heard during this difficult and unprecedented time.”
Unifor 112 members at the Hilton Garden Inn will also receive several improvements to their benefits, workplace procedures and job protections. These improvements include: wage increases, 13 holidays and 5 paid sick days, overtime premiums that commence after 8 hours in a day or after 40 hours in a week, and members will no longer be moved from full-time status to part-time status without consent. Most notably, members will receive two years of recall rights during the pandemic and the right to self-pay health and welfare premiums to ensure health coverage is not interrupted due to a change in their work situation.
“Our overwhelming concern in these negotiations was to safeguard our members from the pandemic’s worst effects,” said Emilio Libao, Unifor Local 112 Unit Chair. “We made it a point to secure crucial protections for our members that protect their jobs and their health. With extended recall rights and provisions to continue health coverage, I’m proud to say we did just that.”
Unifor members at Local 112 ratified the agreement by 100 per cent.