Overwhelming Support for New Agreement at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

September 15, 2011, 4:04 PM EST

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CAW Local 4275 members who work at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract with wage, benefit and pension improvements.

The workers, who resisted company demands for concessions, voted 94 per cent in favour of the new agreement at ratification meetings September 13.

The agreement includes 2.5 per cent in wage increases in the first year, 2.5 per cent in the second and 2.5 per cent in the third. There are dental, short-term disability, and paramedical coverage improvements as well as gains in shift premiums and improved housekeeping workload language. In addition, family responsibility leave is now guaranteed in the contract.

In a major step forward in bargaining with the Fairmont hotel chain, company contributions toward retirement savings will increase to 3.7 per cent by the third year of the agreement.

CAW National Representative Gavin McGarrigle said the strong 94 per cent strike mandate from the membership sent a message to the company who continued to demand concessions and who had flatly rejected the proposal for increased pension contributions.

"There is no doubt that the willingness of the members to stand behind their union and take action if necessary was the key factor in reaching this new three year agreement," said McGarrigle.

 CAW Local 4275 President Terry Tanasiuk said "the membership's awesome display of solidarity sent a powerful message to the company that concessions were not acceptable and that improvements to benefits and wages, as well as the breakthrough in increased retirement contributions were needed in order to avoid a work stoppage.  The committee and membership have demonstrated how critically important it is that hotel workers are organized with a strong union like the CAW. "

CAW Local 4275 represents 450 workers at Fairmont's flagship Hotel Vancouver.

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