The longest hotel strike in Vancouver history may finally be over.
The Rosewood Hotel Georgia and Unite Here Local 40 have each announced that a tentative agreement was reached this weekend in a dispute that's dragged on for 58 days.
The deal came after 29 hours of nonstop bargaining on Friday (November 15) and Saturday (November 16), according to the company.
"Significantly, the Hotel has implemented a workplace safety program that the Union has called 'industry-leading' and includes programs specifically designed to prevent harassment and discrimination and empower our employees around these issues," the Rosewood Hotel Georgia stated.
It added that it's now become the first union-represented hotel to agree to "broadly install panic buttons covering the majority of employees across multiple departments".
Terms of the agreement have not been released and it's subject to a ratification vote by Unite Here Local 40 members.
In a tweet today, the union thanked its allies in the community and the labour movement.
In October, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union offered the hotel workers' union a $3-million interest-free loan.
The 200 employees at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia refused to buckle even after workers at the Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore, and Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront reached an agreement with their employers after a 28-day strike.
“We have finally achieved the contract we deserve," room attendant and bargaining committee member May Tanjusay said in a union news release. "I am very proud of my coworkers for staying united and thankful to all the people who supported us and reminded us that we are not alone. We’ve shown this hotel and others in Vancouver that hotel workers will fight for respect and a fair workplace."
Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan drew attention to their determination at a raucous rally outside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia on November 14.
She's the first woman of Chinese ancestry to be elected president of a provincewide union in B.C.
"This strike has changed all of us," Chan told the Straight last month. "It’s changed every striker on the picket line. It tells the hotel: don’t underestimate us.”
On November 14, a large number of union sympathizers joned the picket line at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, increasing pressure on the employer.
Among them was Vancouver Kingsway NDP MP Don Davies.
Prior to the strike, some women who worked at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia filed complaints to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, alleging that the employer was not doing enough to protect them from an oversexualized work environment. None of the allegations has been confirmed by the tribunal, which has yet held a hearing.
After workers walked off the job, they made a great deal of noise outside the hotel. In mid-October, management obtained a court order prohibiting them from using megaphones, sirens, blowhorns, and drums to create a ruckus.