Garry Constable, right, a server at Minnoz Restaurant and Lounge, and other union members of Unite Here Local 40, picketed in front of the Coast Bastion Hotel in Nanaimo on Saturday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Coast Hotel issues lockout notice, emergency mediation coming

Lockout would affect Coast Hotels in Nanaimo, Victoria and Prince George

Coast Hotels applied for 72-hour lockout notice to unionized workers at the Coast Bastion Hotel on Tuesday.

Unite Here Local 40 members staged a one-day strike at the downtown Nanaimo hotel on Saturday, citing higher wages to match increases in cost of living and heavy workloads for housekeeping staff. The two sides were set to begin negotiations Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 13-14, but mediation will now take place instead.

Laird Cronk, newly elected president for the B.C. Federation of Labour, called for the mediation following the union’s strike and the the two sides have agreed to the emergency mediation. The union has set a midnight deadline on Dec. 13 to reach a deal and has called on the labour movement to pull business from the hotel if a deal isn’t reached, according to a press release.

RELATED: Workers at Coast Bastion Hotel on 24-hour strike

It will be business as usual during mediation unless membership chooses to walk off, which it will decide during the mediation process, said Octavian Cadabeschi, Unite Here Local 40 spokesman.

The hotel will be in a position for a lockout on Friday and notice was issued in response to Saturday’s strike, said Linda Hagen, Coast Hotels’ spokeswoman. She said the hotel continues to be focused on reaching an agreement in a manner that is fair to employees and the company. Ken Saunders, a B.C. mediator and arbitrator, will handle the mediation, she said.

Hagen wouldn’t comment on what would happen if a lockout was necessary and reiterated that the hotel is focused on reaching an agreement that is fair to all.

“It’s about making sure we keep our people employed and able to live a good life and make sure that the hotels and the company are profitable as well,” said Hagen.

Hotels in Victoria and Prince George are also affected by the lockout notice, which would affect more than 250 workers.


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