Workers at the Courtyard by Marriott in Toronto are the fourth Local 7575 unit to negotiate significant improvements after joining Unifor.
Unifor has achieved a guarantee that there will be no conversion of the hotel to condominiums for the duration of the collective agreement.
“Like so many hotel workers in Toronto, Courtyard members were staring down the barrel of imminent condominium conversion,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Winning job security for the duration of this collective agreement is such a critical victory in the context of Toronto’s overheated real estate market.”
The Courtyard by Marriott and a dozen major Toronto hotels have active applications to convert to condominiums. Workers at the historic Chelsea Hotel, the largest hotel in Canada, have just received notice of closure.
The conversion of several large, affordable hotels in Toronto’s downtown core also threatens the city’s $8.6 billion meetings, conventions and incentive travel business, according to a Unifor Local 7575 report released this summer.
Over the term of the three-year contract, wages will increase 10.6 per cent (cumulative), more than double the company’s opening offer. Health benefits will be maintained and improved and the employer has agreed to major increases in pension contributions. Important workload protections for Room Attendants have also been secured.
“This fight was all about job security and condo conversion,” says Louie Naccarato, the Chief Shop Steward who has worked at the hotel for 39 years. “We couldn’t have done this without the strength of our membership and Unifor standing behind us.”
Unifor was also successful at enshrining a Women’s Advocate position in the collective agreement, as well as securing a mechanism for protecting workers from harassment by guests and introducing alert devices (panic buttons) for room attendants.