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Holiday Inn about to be unionized

Canadian Auto Workers say they have no campaign targetting Whistler

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Whistler’s Holiday Inn is about to become the latest hotel where staff are represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union.

CAW National Representative John Bowman confirmed the Holiday Inn was in the process of being unionized but he said there was no specific drive to sign members in Whistler.

"They’re negotiating their first contract at the Holiday Inn but there’s been no push by us to organize hotels there," said Bowman. "We periodically come up to Whistler and meet with hotels but in the case of the Holiday Inn we were contacted by employees there," said Bowman.

"That campaign was done in a short period of time and resulted in a successful vote and certification."

While staff have voted to join the CAW the certification has yet to be registered by the Labour Relations Board.

The LRB confirmed that the CAW has also represented the Westin Resort and Spa’s workforce since 2000, while the Tantalus Lodge, the Coast Whistler Resort Hotel and Whistler Lodging also have unionized workforces.

The CAW is the largest private sector union in Canada, with approximately 265,000 members.

The general manager of the Holiday Inn, Anita McGee, refused to address the issue when asked about it.

John Nadeau, president of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, also didn’t have any details about the Holiday Inn deal except to day that he would be "talking to the members" about the issue.

Bowman said many hotels become certified when employees move on to a new hotel job.

"We have a number of existing certifications and I think in part that’s how we end up getting calls because there’s a lot of movement between properties," he said. "I think they end up working in other hotels and they realize if they don’t have any kind of a contract that they don’t have any rights, or very minimal rights under the employment standards act.

Bowman reiterated that the CAW has no organized drive to certify Whistler hotels.

"We have hotels where we have ongoing contacts and when the time is right we’ll do a drive, but at the moment there is not a major campaign by us."

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