HMSHost Corporation

February 17, 2010 17:32 ET

HMSHost Statement on Strike Action at Vancouver International Airport

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2010) - HMSHost is disappointed that the Union took job action today, especially given our intensive efforts and availability to negotiate and avoid disruption during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Our door is wide open. We urge the Union to return to mediation or come back to the negotiating table.

While we regret any inconvenience, it is important for everyone to know that the job action affects services at only 16 of the HMSHost outlets at YVR, which represents less than half of our total outlets at the airport.

The following HMSHost-operated outlets are not affected by the strike, several with multiple locations: Burger King (3), Cinnabon, Legends, Pizza Hut (2), Starbucks Coffee (6), Jugo Juice, Jetway Cafe, Canadian Outdoor Adventure, Gifts of the Raven, Jetway News, News Connection, Olympic Store, Postcards, Sea to Sky, and Vancouver Marketplace. These operations are not part of the current Collective Agreement under negotiation.

Sixteen HMSHost outlets are affected by the job action. More than 140 food and beverage and retail services remain open and operating at the Airport.

Updated Background Information


  • When the Union gave HMSHost bargaining notice in January 2009, it did not provide Host with any dates to bargain until July 2009, with the first meeting occurring in August. Despite numerous attempts by Host to start negotiations on the contract that expired in March 2009, the company and representatives of the Union met only six times in the 11 months prior to the end of 2009.
  • The Union applied to the Labour Relations Board for the appointment of a Mediator on December 21, 2009. In response, Host advised the Labour Relations Board that its committee was prepared to cancel whatever holiday/vacation plans it had and make itself available for bargaining every day between Christmas and New Year's.
  • The Union declined that offer and advised Host that it would only be available on four evenings during the entire month of January 2010: 7, 8, 15, and 16.
  • Waiting until January 7 would delay the process of negotiations, so HMSHost issued a 72-hour lockout notice to Unite Here Local 40 on January 4, 2010. This was done to encourage the Union to commit time to negotiations sooner and conclude an agreement prior to the start of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
  • The lockout notice had the desired effect. On January 6, 2010, the parties resumed negotiations with the assistance of a Mediator. Negotiations continued through the month of January, up until the 27.
  • On January 20, 2010, Host lifted the lockout notice officially. We were then just a few weeks away from the start of the Winter Olympics and we were convinced that engaging in a lockout at that time would not be in the best interests of the Company, our associates, the Airport or the community in which we all live.
  • When we lifted our lockout notice without conditions, we also asked the Union to agree to commit to no disruption or job action until after Olympics. In doing so, we asked the Union to recognize, as stated above, that labour disputes during this period are not in the interests of the Company our associates, the Airport or the greater community.
  • In all communications, we have made it clear to the Union and to the Mediator that we are prepared to continue at the bargaining table with assistance, until a new Collective Agreement can be reached.
  • Host concluded a meeting held with the Union and the Mediator on January 27, with the understanding that mediation would resume so that Host could respond to the proposal tabled by the Union during the meeting that day.
  • We understand that the Union was not available to meet on January 28 or 29 and did not respond to the message left by the Mediator with respect to scheduling a meeting for January 30, 2010.
  • Rather than returning to the bargaining table, the Union conducted a strike vote on Friday, February 12, 2010, and issued a strike notice at 3:45 pm on that same day.
  • A brief mediation meeting was held on Monday evening, February 15, yet we have not been able to conclude negotiations on a new collective agreement for our Host associates at the Airport.
  • Strike action commenced on Wednesday, February 17, 2010.

HMSHost Union Staffed Units include:

  • DTB L2 – Tim Hortons, Stanley's Bar & Grill, Harvey's, News to You
  • DTB L3 Pre Security – Tim Hortons and Milestones
  • DTB Pier A – Palomino Bar & Grill, Vancouver News
  • DTB Pier C - Toast Cafe and Tim Hortons
  • ITB Int'l L2 – Tim Hortons
  • ITB Int'l Post WCE – Tim Hortons, Milestones
  • ITB TB Post – Tim Hortons, Pacific Grill, Voyages

Contact Information

  • HMSHost Corporation - Media Contact
    Susan Goyette
    Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations