Fairmont Palliser Hotel Workers Vote 91% in Favour of Strike Action

July 29, 2009, 1:23 PM EST

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Workers at Fairmont Palliser Hotel in Calgary have voted 91 per cent in favour of strike action if necessary in a vote held on Friday, July 24, 2009. 

The CAW, who represents the 246 workers, is now in a legal position to serve 72 hour strike notice over the next 120 days.

"The workers are seeking a fair collective agreement that more closely reflects the wages and benefits in place at other Fairmont hotels in large cities such as the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and the Fairmont Empress Hotel," said CAW National Representative Gavin McGarrigle.

"If you compare wages in these two properties against those at the Fairmont Palliser, they can be up to 35 per cent lower, which is unacceptable for people who are doing the same work."  For example, wages at the Fairmont Palliser are approximately $4.00 lower for housekeepers, over $5.00 lower for cooks, and over $3.50 lower for guest service agents.
"The workers helped make the Fairmont Palliser the success it is today," added McGarrigle.

The CAW contract expired on February 28, 2009. Negotiations between the CAW and the Fairmont Palliser started in March 2009 and have continued at a slow pace over several sessions without success. The parties have already met with a Mediator appointed by Alberta Mediation Services under the Alberta Labour Relations Code.

CAW Local 4273 represents workers at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in a wide variety of departments including kitchen, banquets, front desk, guest services, maintenance, and housekeeping. Further bargaining dates will be set between the parties shortly.

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