CAW Ratifies New Deal at Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C.

August 20, 2010, 10:58 AM EST


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CAW members at Fairmont Empress Hotel ratified a new collective agreement by 78 per cent over the course of a series of meetings yesterday.   Negotiations resumed only 24 hours before the strike deadline was to be set and the two sides successfully hashed out a deal.

"It was a tough day of negotiating," said CAW national representative Stu Shields. "But both the union and the hotel knew what was at stake taking a strike vote at this time in the summer during tourist season."

At issue was language around scheduling, the application of seniority, the movement of staff around the hotel and wages. The new three year agreement takes effect on September 1 and includes wage increases totaling six per cent over the life of the agreement. 

CAW hotel unit chairperson James Griffin said that the members at the Fairmont Empress know how valuable their work is in building and maintaining the thriving hotel the Empress has always been. "They've worked hard to make the hotel a success and therefore they are entitled to a fair wage increase for their ongoing efforts," said Griffin.

Shields said the members were both pleased and surprised to learn the union successfully reached a deal and that they would be voting on it instead of voting on a possible strike. "It was without a doubt the solidarity and support of the workers that made this deal possible. When workers support one another and their union, a fair agreement almost always follows," said Shields.

CAW Local 4276 represents approximately 500 workers at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. 

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