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Staff at LNG workers’ lodge in Kitimat, B.C., win significant pay bump, averting strike

Employees at a lodge housing workers for LNG Canada's under-construction facility in Kitimat, B.C., have won wage increases of up to 40 per cent, averting a strike.

97% of union members had approved strike action ahead of mediation talks in early July

A large factory facility is seen with workers off in the distance. Cooling towers and cranes are visible.

Employees at a lodge housing workers for LNG Canada's under-construction facility in Kitimat, B.C., have won wage increases of up to 40 per cent, averting a strike.

The workers' union, Unite Here Local 40, says in a statement the new deal was reached after mediation with the employer at the B.C. Labour Board.

It says the 450 hospitality workers at Cedar Valley Lodge unanimously voted in favour of ratifying the new contract on Saturday.

The union says the agreement means most staff will see a 30- to 40-per-cent pay bump over a one-year contract, while lodge workers will get $5 more per hour, and maintenance staff will get an immediate 10 per cent pay increase.

CONGRATULATIONS to our members at Cedar Valley Lodge in Kitimat! Press Release: <a href="https://t.co/WQtC3flL62">https://t.co/WQtC3flL62</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bclab?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bclab</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/canlab?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#canlab</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bcpoli?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bcpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/britishcolumbia?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#britishcolumbia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/canada?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#canada</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/union?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#union</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kitimat?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kitimat</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LNGCanada?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LNGCanada</a> <a href="https://t.co/GjFqRz8HeG">pic.twitter.com/GjFqRz8HeG</a>

&mdash;@UniteHere40

It says the deal also includes increases in vacation pay, improvements to medical benefits and the establishment of a retirement plan as well as adding workload protections for kitchen, janitor and housekeeping roles.

"I believe this groundbreaking new agreement sends a strong message to camp workers across the province that when workers stand up for themselves, they win." said Zailda Chan, the Unite Here Local 40 president. "Hospitality workers will not be overlooked or disrespected, and their work should be valued."

The union previously said Cedar Valley typically accommodates up to 5,000 camp workers for LNG Canada and is "the only accommodation facility in Kitimat large enough" to house so many people. The union says that B.C. Building Trades members at the site supported the lodge workers in their labour action.

The 450 lodge workers who voted for strike action are employed by Sodexo, which offers hospitality, food and maintenance services at the lodge.

The massive $40-billion project in Kitimat is about 85 per cent complete and is the only LNG export facility under construction in Canada. It is scheduled to begin delivery in the next few years.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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