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Hospitality workers vote for strike in PG camp

Union hopeful for Kitimat-like outcome
Prince George hospitality workers are hopeful their threats of a strike will have the same result as union workers at the Horizon North Crossroads Lodge in Kitimat, pictured, where strike action was narrowly averted earlier this year. (Horizon North photo)

Members of the same union that represents camp hospitality staff in Kitimat have voted in favour of strike action in Prince George.

The 150 workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, and include room attendants, kitchen staff and janitors. A strike would shut down the Parsnip Lodge that houses 1,200 Coastal GasLink pipeline workers, as alternate accommodations on this scale are not available in the region, according to the union.

Local 40 members at Kitimat’s Cedar Valley Lodge and Crossroads Lodge narrowly averted strike action earlier this year by voting in favour of a new collective agreement.

The union said workers here were earning less than a living wage, and demanded a cost of living adjustment as well as protection against unsafe working conditions caused by under staffing. Cedar Valley Lodge employees unanimously voted in favour July 22 to ratify a new one-year collective agreement with wage gains as high as 40 percent.

The events here and in Prince George are just two locations staffed by Local 40 members involved in some kind of strike action.

“Camp hospitality workers across British Columbia deserve to be valued for their services. These workers provide a home away from home for thousands of workers in remote areas, and they are critical to the success of major construction projects in our province. Our members at Parsnip Lodge have spent years taking care of guests working on the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The workers want to be compensated with fair severance pay as the project nears completion. We are hopeful we can resolve this issue with the employer in bargaining and avoid a strike action at the site,” Zailda Chan, UNITE HERE Local 40 president said.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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