George Behnam is the Chief Steward at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, where he has worked since October 1983.
The members elected George as Chief Steward 24 years ago because of his knowledge and experience. George has been a banquet server for his entire career at Westin but he has also helped in most departments including Valet, Service Express, Bar, and Stewarding.
Like many hospitality workers, George was laid off for a long time because of COVID-19. It was very difficult during this time and like most of the other employees, he was simply tying to survive from March of 2020 to June 2021. He is very happy to be back to work
Through eight sets of bargaining, George has taken pride in using his experience to help the members by negotiating better benefits and higher wages for the membership with the help of the Union. Along with the other stewards, they work great as a team and have been very successful at resolving members’ issues throughout the years. George enjoys helping the members and feels satisfied when he sees fairness for everyone.
In his spare time, George likes to go for long walks and keep busy around the house fixing things and spending quality time with his family. George’s wife Michele also works at the Westin and has been at the hotel for 18 years. George is looking forward to retirement but doesn’t have any specific date in mind because he thoroughly enjoys what he does.