Unifor, Local 7575 members at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville voted on Sept. 13 to ratify a new collective agreement, with significant economic gains and breakthroughs in job security and workload protections.
“We believe this is the first time in Ontario that a collective agreement has fully protected room attendants’ work from sham ‘green’ programs at a Marriott property,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president.
The new agreement guarantees that room attendants will no longer lose hours because of so-called “green” programs. Eventually all financial incentives for guests to decline housekeeping services will be phased out. The union estimates the new language will save as many as 28 shifts per week, according to Unifor.
Wages will increase by 10.6 per cent (compounded) over three years with some classifications receiving additional increases. Banquet gratuity income will jump an additional four per cent, effective immediately. Pension contributions will increase by 27 per cent over the term of the collective agreement. Benefits for dependents of part-time workers will expand to include dental coverage, eye exams, prescription drugs and life insurance, said the union.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Roberto Perez, a long-time Marriott houseperson and member of the bargaining committee. “We bargained right up to a strike deadline, and the strength and unity of my co-workers made it possible for us to set a new standard in the hotel industry.”
Unifor was successful at enshrining a Women’s Advocate position in the collective agreement, as well as securing a mechanism for protecting workers from harassment by guests and introducing alert devices (panic buttons) for room attendants, said the union.
To help combat the rampant hotel-to-condominium conversions in the Greater Toronto Area, the contract includes unlimited recall rights for workers laid off during upcoming renovations, guaranteed return to the same or comparable jobs after renovations and an assurance that renovations will include no conversion of hotel space to residential condominiums, said Unifor.