Strike action looms for B.C. employer

Unifor – which represents almost 500 of the hotel’s employees – served a 72-hour strike notice yesterday morning

Strike action looms for B.C. employer
Strike action is looming for one major B.C. employer after Canada’s largest union served a 72-hour strike notice yesterday morning.

Unifor Local 4276 said it was forced to take a stand against Fairmont Empress Hotel because employees have grown frustrated as a result of under-staffing, forced overtime and unrealistic expectations.

Members have reported working more than 60 consecutive days and now the union is looking to establish limits on overtime hours as well increased control over scope of work.

The complaints follow significant renovations at the hotel which Unifor claims has but many workers under additional stress.

"The 'new' Empress has a dirty secret: the renovations have led to harm and stress on the people who work there," said Stu Shields, Unifor national representative. "The renovations have been a terrible health and safety risk for hotel workers."

Shields noted that a strike could begin as early as Thursday morning but said he was optimistic about working with the Fairmont Empress Hotel would to find a resolution.

"I'm confident we can work through our differences, but the owners have to show some appreciation to the workers who are making the Empress a successful business," he said.

Unifor Local 4276 represents almost 500 of Empress’ employees who work across housekeeping, culinary, grounds keeping, serving, guest relations, maintenance, and engineering.

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