Harrison Hot Springs Resort employees continue to await word on labour negotiations. (Grace Kennedy/Observer)

Hospitality workers in Harrison, beyond await word on labour negotiations

UNITE HERE Local 40 reps say lockout notice still in effect

Hotels across B.C., including Harrison Hot Springs Resort, are still on lockout notice following a labour dispute between UNITE HERE Local 40 and Hospitality Industrial Relations.

On Tuesday, April 27, The B.C. Labour Relations Board delivered a lockout notice to the hospitality workers union, which would effectively put 1,200 employees across more than a dozen communities out of work. The original lockout notice expired on Friday, April 30, but as of press time, UNITE HERE Local 40 spokesperson Stephanie Fung told The Observer that hotels remain on lockout notice as the union awaits word from HIR.

During a press conference on Thursday, April 29, UNITE HERE Local 40 executive officer Robert Demand expressed fears that 32 employers across B.C., including Harrison Hot Springs Resort, would rather fire current staff and replace them when the COVID-19 pandemic allows for travel again.

“Instead of working together during a crisis, many employers are undermining economic security, which could drive working conditions back decades,” Demand said. Demand pointed out that this lockout would disproportionately affect women and people of colour, who make up a majority of the affected workforce.

The previous contract between HIR and the union expired in May 2020 with negotiations ongoing ever since.

“We hope employers will take this approach to avoid lockout as a summer of tourism approaches,” Demand said.

Demand also called on the provincial government to intervene on behalf of the tourism industry.

“This could have been stopped if the province stepped up and responded to the COVID crisis in hospitality with the same urgency they addressed the needs of healthcare workers,” he said.

One of the main points of contention is the union’s push for extended recall rights, which would give current employees protection and allow them to return to work when work is available again. Demand said the union seeks job protection heading into the early summer months of 2023 as “a myriad of factors” related to the pandemic could further hinder the tourism industry for several more months.

The communities affected by the current lockout threat are: Vancouver, Victoria, Coquitlam, Richmond, New Westminster, Abbotsford, Harrison Hot Springs, Kamloops, Castlegar, Fort St. John, Port Alberni, Mackenzie and Prince Rupert.

Village of Harrison Hot Springs officials have declined to comment. The Observer has also reached out to Harrison Hot Springs Resort for further comment.

AgassizHarrison Hot SpringsLabour

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read