Sodexo hospitality workers at Cedar Valley Lodge voted 97 per cent in favour of strike action on July 7.
According to the media representative for UNITE HERE Local 40, Sodexo Cedar Valley Lodge hospitality workers are the lowest compensated workers at the LNG Canada construction site. Some Lodge workers make five dollars per hour less than they earned in the same positions at the Kitimat Modernization Project eight years ago.
The 450 workers - including housekeepers, kitchen staff, janitors, lounge servers, guest service agents, and maintenance - unionized with UNITE HERE Local 40 and IBEW on April 12.
Cedar Valley Lodge is the largest accommodation facility in Kitimat, accommodating up to 5,000 workers at the LNG Canada project. A strike at the worksite could cause significant disruption to pipeline work and mediation between the Union and the employer began July 10 at the BC Labour Board.
“Cedar Valley Lodge workers are being treated unfairly,” said Mike Lightheart, a First Cook who has worked at Cedar Valley Lodge for three years. “We deserve fair pay for the work we do, not to be the lowest paid people at the LNG Canada camp. With families to support, we need to be able to keep up with our bills. We will not be disrespected anymore, and we are ready to strike if we do not receive a fair proposal.”
BC Building Trades workers at the LNG Canada camp received a 12.5 per cent wage increase in 2022, and by the end of October 2023 will receive an additional 10 per cent increase. Sodexo hospitality workers at Cedar Valley Lodge were not included in these increases.