Toronto hotel workers give union a strike mandate
Published Thursday, June 3, 2010 3:55PM EDT
Workers at 32 Toronto hotels have almost unanimously given their union a strike mandate.
"A majority of workers participated in the vote, and the vote for strike authorization is 94.2 per cent," Cicely Phillips of Unite Here Local 75 told a news conference on Thursday.
Negotiations with the unionized hotels are continuing. The collective agreement expired in February. A strike deadline of June 24 has been set.
If a walkout does occur, the union said it would only happen at the Novotel on the Esplanade. About 100 union members work at the hotel.
France's trade mission to the G20 Summit in Toronto, which takes place on June 26-27, is supposed to stay at the hotel. So is that country's media contingent, , according to the Toronto Star.
However, the union has said it does not want to disrupt the city during the summit period.
The main concern of the union is what it calls the precarious nature of the hotels' scheduling, such as shortened and split shifts, that are leading to a decline in working conditions.
“There have been a lot of cuts to both shifts and services that are really having an impact on both workers and hotel guests,” Phillips said.
The union represents a total of 5,500 service workers who toil at some of the city's most prominent hotels, such as the Fairmont Royal York. The contract at that hotel does not expire until July 17, a company spokesperson said.
With files from The Canadian Press