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Local 4267 strike release served earlier this week after a lack of progress at the negotiating table. Today`s interim agreement means that the Empress`s workers will vote next week on the ratification of the treaty. “Our main goal right now is to continue discussions with Unifor in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” says Tracey Drake, the hotel`s director of marketing and public relations. “We are optimistic that the remaining problems can be solved effectively and in a timely manner.” With more than 20,000 members in hotels and casinos across the country, Unifor is Canada`s largest hotel and restaurant union. The hotel and restaurant industry is one of Canada`s largest employers, with more than 1.2 million people working in the restaurant industry. Unifor`s collective agreements help lift traditionally low-paid workers out of poverty, while giving hotel employees a powerful voice. Local 4276 served the strike notice earlier this week after a lack of progress at the negotiating table. Today`s interim agreement means that the Empress`s workers will vote next week on the ratification of the treaty. Employees at Victoria`s fairmont Empress Hotel have tentatively agreed with their employer and avoided a strike that was due to start on Saturday morning. Further details of the agreement will be published after the ratification meeting. Griffin said more details about the deal will be released after next week`s vote. Details of the agreement have not been released, but the union said further information would be released after the ratification vote.

Meanwhile, union and business representatives continue to negotiate at the hotel in the hope of an agreement. Unifor`s national representative, Mario Santos, had previously said that the union wanted a three-year contract containing a clause stipulating that no rooms in the hotel would be converted to residential use for the duration of the agreement. Any work action would also involve the Victoria Conference Centre, which has an agreement with the hotel to provide services for the installation of rooms and the provision of food, Santos said.