After a two-month closure, boards came off the front doors as the Coast Discovery Inn reopened following a chilly winter labour dispute.
“We’re all happy, it’s nice to have a job,” said a smiling, long-time employee.
Hotel owner Sukhy Bains closed the downtown hotel March 7, after issuing layoff notices in early January.
The employees belonged to the union Unite Here local 40 whose representatives said that Bains was unwilling to talk or negotiate.
However, when the 35 employees voted overwhelmingly to decertify from the union, that allowed the hotel to reopen on Monday.
The restaurant and lounge will reopen June 1, said Bains, who gathered with employees and members of city council to celebrate the reopening.
“It was difficult for me and the staff,” said Bains. “But the employees said they wanted their jobs back – we’re looking forward to a busy summer.”
Bains said the employees were hired back with the same wages and benefits, and more jobs are available. This Friday, the Discovery Inn is holding a job fair to staff 25 more positions.
As well, starting in the fall, room renovations will begin, mainly in the tower.
The 88-room hotel first opened in 1963 beside the Tyee Plaza.