January 31, 2018
TORONTO – For the third time this week, Toronto hotel workers have voted to join Unifor and leave the American union that had fired their local leadership and seized its assets, with an overwhelming 90 per cent vote.
“It is truly inspiring to see so many workers in Canada taking a strong stand against the bullying and intimidation tactics we see all too often from American unions,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “With every card signed and every vote cast, the workers are sending a strong message to U.S. unions that workers in Canada will not accept that kind of treatment any longer.”
Today’s vote at the Toronto Westin Prince hotel near York Mills and Don Mills follow successful votes held Monday at the Courtyard Marriott and the Marriott Bloor Yorkville. Workers at the Hyatt Regency hotel downtown and the Quality Hotel and Suites near the airport will vote on Friday. Workers at the King Edward, Doubletree Metropolitan and Delta Toronto Airport hotels will have an opportunity to vote to join Unifor on Monday. Workers at the Hilton downtown, Toronto Don Valley, Hilton Toronto Airport, Sheraton Toronto Airport and Four Points Airport hotels vote next Wednesday.
“We did it – we stood up together and voted to join with hundreds of thousands of workers across Canada,” said Andrea Henry, a worker at the Westin Prince. “The American union threw everything they had at us, but we weren’t fooled. Now we feel so free.”
The American parent union of UNITE HERE Local 75 placed the local into trusteeship earlier this month in a dispute over the right of the local to set its own course, including in bargaining. It also removed elected officers and seized the local's assets. The workers at the Westin Prince hotel will become members of the newly formed Unifor Local 7575, and join more than 19,000 hospitality and gaming workers in Unifor across Canada.
“As part of Unifor, we will be able to continue the incredible work we have done as a union over the years, but were no longer able to continue as part of an American union,” said Lis Pimentel, who is leading the effort to bring hotel workers to Unifor. “The momentum is building. Unifor Local 7575 is the home of hotel workers in Toronto, and is only going to grow from here.”
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at email@example.com or (cell) 647-385-4054.