Locked out Super 8 workers: Union says negotiations poisoned by management
Workers at the Super 8 Moose Jaw, which is owned by Wyndham Hotels, have been locked out of their workplace since March 3 – union representative Gary Whelan says management is trying to force the union to disband
Workers at the Super 8 Moose Jaw, which is owned by Wyndham Hotels, have been locked out of their workplace since March 3 – union representative Gary Whelan says management is trying to force the union to disband.
Super 8 Moose Jaw employees are represented by Unite Here! Local 41, a union that groups Regina hotels such as Ramada and DoubleTree.
Union representative Gary Whelan said MooseJawToday.com that since the Super 8 Moose Jaw hired a new manager in May 2021, the working conditions are unacceptable.
“I hope they come to their senses,” Whelan said. “I mean, she came in with a 50s and 60s attitude, where she’s the boss and that’s it. She (believes she) shouldn’t have to bargain with the union.
Whelan said that after employees at the location complained to him about their treatment, he came to the hotel to try to discuss the issues.
The manager called the police, he said, and claimed he assaulted her. He is now barred from the property, although that hasn’t stopped him from supporting the picket line.
Whelan said the new manager told her he wasn’t God and he didn’t own the hotel – so she had no obligation to speak to him.
“It’s her attitude, and she treats people like they’re animals. There is no respect… They are reprimanded and treated like shit.
MooseJawToday.com contacted hotel management for their perspective on the dispute. An unknown employee declined to speak to the reporter and said all media questions should be submitted by email.
The email provided was a Hotmail address rather than a company address.
The Super 8 has hired temporary workers to replace locked out union employees.
Whelan claimed the principal asked her spouse to send a union membership card to circumvent labor bargaining unit rules that restrict certain duties to union members.
“They sent a card, a union membership card with his name on it to the union office,” Whelan said. “They think if he’s a member and pays dues, then he can do the job.”
Whelan challenges that decision and hopes that if another vote is held on whether to return to work, the spouse’s vote will not be counted due to the conflict of interest.
Negotiations to resolve the dispute began with terms that union members unanimously deemed completely unacceptable.
In a press release, Unite Here! Local 41 said Super 8 Moose Jaw began collective bargaining by proposing nearly 60 deletions and/or amendments to the collective agreement, including the following:
- A five-year contract with no pay rise
- Abolition of the bargaining unit clause
- Scheduling must be entirely at the discretion of management
- Removal of the clause that protects against unfair workloads
- Amount of work to be done entirely at the discretion of management
- Control of the appointment of trade union representatives
- To be able to extend the trial period at the discretion of management
Whelan said making such proposals shows management has no real interest in negotiating. Instead, he said, they are trying to force the union to decertify until its members can no longer afford not to work.
Whelan said arbitration proceedings are underway to deal with unfair labor practices such as denying access to property for the union representative.
“Even though we are here on the picket line, we still have actions against them.”
Super 8 Moose Jaw management and Wyndham Hotels have not yet responded to requests for comment.