As of Thursday morning, 85 workers were locked out by their employer Heritage Inn Hotels in Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.
UFCW Local 1400, which represents the workers, has tried to negotiate a collective agreement with the company on several occasions since 2019, but has not reached an agreement.
“Heritage Inn hotels are demanding unreasonable and unfair concessions from their workers,” reads a press release from UFCW Local 1400.
“They are demanding that the benefits and protections provided in current agreements be removed entirely. Workers have bargained for many years for these benefits, such as vision, dental and sick pay, and do not deserve to have them taken away.
Locked out workers include cleaners, reception staff, banquet servers, cooks and others.
“These locked out workers are the same ones who were asked to risk their health and safety during the COVID pandemic, and now the employer wants to put them on the street,” said the president of local 1400 of the TUAC, Lucia Flack Figueiredo.
Figeuredo also pointed to wage issues, saying Heritage Inn Hotels ties wages to the Saskatchewan minimum wage, with wages starting at the minimum and the only increase coming from government-mandated minimum increases for the next seven years.
Outside of minimum wage increases, they have only offered minimal raises to members, in specific cla*sifications, ranging from $0.09 to $0.83 per hour over the nearly seven-year span that they propose for the new collective agreement.
“We ask for the public’s support in not crossing the picket line and ensuring that these workers can protect their benefits,” Figueiredo said.
“Heritage Inn workers are hardworking members of their community and love their jobs. They deserve a better deal than this disrespectful treatment.
She added that ultimately both sides had to sit down and come to an agreement.
“The members want to work,” Figeuredo explained. “I want the employer to sit down at the table and sit down with me, face to face, and look at what they need, but I want there to be a real discussion, a real series of negotiations.”
PKBNEWS has contacted Heritage Inn for comment on the bargaining and the locked out employees, but received no comment at the time of publication.
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