First agreement for YUL bar and restaurant workers
Seniority and recall rights to be protected for 24 months during the pandemic
Montreal, Thursday, December 17, 2020 – While most of the 240 new unionized workers at Dorval Airport’s bars and restaurants have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their jobs will remain intact and protected for 24 months, and these employees will continue to receive group insurance coverage during this period.
Yesterday, 99.3% of the new union members employed by SSP Quebec Food Service Inc. to work in some 15 bars and restaurants at Dorval Airport ratified their first work contract since unionizing in December 2019.
"A joint committee of union and employer representatives is being set up to respond to the unique context of the COVID-19 pandemic, to adapt to changing health standards and to ensure that workers are properly protected. Not only do we have a very good work contract but we have also put in place the elements needed to protect jobs and workers at this difficult time!”, stated Local Union 9400 Recording Secretary Jean-René Dumas.
Resulting from a conciliation procedure, this first contract comprises elements that specifically address uncertainties related to the pandemic, as well as a number of advances in working conditions.
Tips and gratuities will be included in the calculation of benefits (statutory holidays, vacation time, sick days, parental leaves, etc.). A fourth week of vacation is allocated after seven years of seniority, and all members will be entitled to a statutory holiday and an additional sick day. The amount allocated for work uniforms has been increased, and an allowance is now provided for the purchase of shoes.
This first contract standardizes the distribution of working hours and establishes rules for respecting seniority. Group insurance and RRSPs are also covered under the contract. Finally, the parties agreed on monetary compensation for all employees during this difficult time.
"We are very proud of our contract and, most importantly, of the fact that we are unionized. We are now in the top half of our sector and are protected during this extremely difficult period. Unionization has made all the difference. And, in our case, we are reaping the benefit of unionization just when we need it most," said Local Bargaining Unit President Youri Szabo.
Local 9400 represents 4,000 workers in the tourism, hotel and restaurant sectors in Quebec. Affiliated with the FTQ, the United Steelworkers is the largest private-sector union in Quebec. It brings together more than 60,000 workers from all economic sectors.