Frustration over staffing levels at the iconic Empress Hotel in Victoria could see staff on the picket lines as early as this Thursday
Picket lines could to go up at Victoria’s iconic Empress Hotel as early as this Thursday.
The union says growing frustrations over staffing levels have promoted them to serve 72-hour strike notice.
It’s been a busy year for the Fairmont Empress with a massive renovation and a booming tourism market.
But Unifor Local 4276, which represents almost 500 workers at the hotel, claims the new Empress has a ‘dirty secret’.
Union officials say the renovations have led to undue stress and harmed staff.
Officials claim under staffing is leading to forced overtime and unrealistic demands on workers.
“They did the beautiful renovation on the hotel but what they haven’t done is factor in the cleaning of this newly renovated hotel and they’re just breaking the backs of the housekeeper in particular,” says Stu Shields of Unifor.
“It’s just taking far longer and as a result, our house keepers are working just an insane amount of overtime.”
The union says some employees have worked 60 days in a row without a day off.
A spokesperson for the Empress declined an on-camera interview.
But they released a statement saying they began bargaining today and a financial package was presented.
They say they were immediately served with strike notice.
If the two sides can’t agree on what’s fair, workers could go on strike Thursday morning.