National strike in the hotel industry | Union members raise the tone

“The revival, that passes by us” chanted union members of the hotel industry Friday during a first day of simultaneous strike in Montreal, Quebec and Sherbrooke. About 2,000 employees, members of 26 unions of hotel professionals affiliated to the CSN, denounce the slowness of negotiations for the renewal of their collective agreement despite the labor shortage in their industry.


Posted on September 18, 2021 at 8:00 a.m.

Isabelle Dubé

Isabelle Dubé
Press

The 24-hour walkout announced by the unions last week has taken place and it is only the beginning, says the CSN. Employees of the Double Tree in Montreal and the Hilton in Quebec are already on indefinite strike. A dozen other hotels have employees ready to use a 72-hour strike bank when deemed appropriate.

“The means of pressure will continue to increase as long as we do not have regulations that meet our expectations, warns Michel Valiquette, treasurer and responsible for the Tourism sector of the Federation of Commerce (FC-CSN) in an interview. . Employers know the airstrip. We will not go below the six hotels that have obtained an agreement. Our members are bloated right now. ”

Union members on strike from a dozen hotels in Montreal gathered on Friday at Place du Canada, union members from the Hilton and Delta in Quebec City marched in the streets of the Old Capital, while in Sherbrooke, workers of the Delta Hotel joined with those of the Quality Hotel in erecting a picket line.

Negotiations for the renewal of collective agreements for the 26 hotels began in March 2021.

Despite the labor shortage in the tourism and hospitality sector, union members are struggling to understand why employers are dragging out negotiations, which they say is making the situation worse.

“It is not respectful on the part of the employer to arrive at the negotiating tables with such significant setbacks and to take advantage of the pandemic to review working conditions downwards,” denounces Michel Valiquette. We have already made efforts to adjust our demands for our working conditions, taking into account the current context. The increases for 2020 and 2021 are at the bottom of the Consumer Price Index. We are under inflation. ”

PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

“The recovery, it goes through us,” chanted the union members on strike.

So far, 6 hotels out of 26 have renewed their collective agreements with wage increases of 8% over four years and employment protection clauses. These are the Hilton Laval, Fairfield by Marriott, Manoir du Lac Delage, Suites Faubourg St-Laurent, Comfort Inn Dorval and Pointe-Claire hotels.

Use of scabs

The CSN denounces the illegal use of strike breakers by Delta Quebec, which has been recognized by the administrative labor tribunal. Other establishments have tried to use strikebreakers to replace striking staff, according to the CSN, despite the anti-scab provisions provided for in the Labor Code.

“When you have 500 rented rooms, you wonder how the executives can maintain them,” explains Michel Valiquette. So we sent inspectors and they saw that the establishment was using scabs. »

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