YVR food service workers stand their ground for job security

NDP MLA Adrian Dix and Jim Sinclair, BC Federation of Labour president, with locked-out HMS Host workers, members of UNITE-HERE Local 40 at YVR.-HERE

NDP MLA Adrian Dix and Jim Sinclair, BC Federation of Labour president, with locked-out members of UNITE-HERE Local 40, at YVR.

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games have driven home the importance of tourism to the local economy, and you can’t have a strong industry without a capable, motivated workforce.

But that  lesson seems to be been lost on some employers, who have told their workers they will be disposed of after the Games.

YVR food service workers employed by HMS Host — many of them with more than 10 years’ service — are threatened with job loss at the end of the Games as HMS Host tears out a Milestones outlet to make way for a White Spot.

There will be jobs at the White Spot, but HMS Host wants to go non-union. After weeks of talks, 300 workers walked out for 24 hours yesterday, shutting 16 retail outlets.

Wages, although low, are not the issue. The key union concern is employment security.

This morning, however, HMS Host appeared to turn the strike into a lockout. (I attended for the anticipated return-to-work, along with NDP MLA Adrian Dix and Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour.)

Where is YVR in this affair? The long-standing policy  is that no labour dispute has anything to do with the airport authority, a head-in-the-sand approach that feeds labour instability at one of the region’s most critical pieces of infrastructure.

Also picketing at YVR: striking Hertz workers who are members of COPE 378.