Solidarity for Striking Durham College Foodservice workers at Unifor Ontario Regional Council

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Striking Durham College Foodservice wearing rain gear and umbrellas on the picketline.

OSHAWA, ONT. –Delegates at Unifor Ontario Regional Council expressed support for foodservice workers at Durham College, on strike since Nov. 28, 2022.

“These foodservice workers are among the lowest paid on campus, earning just above minimum wage,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

“Our members need a living wage and Unifor will support them in every way we can.”

The roughly 90 members of Unifor Local 462, predominantly women, work at the college’s Oshawa campus as general help, cook and lead hand in quick-service eateries such as Starbucks and Tim Hortons.

A group of the striking workers received a standing ovation and pledges of financial support from delegates and other Unifor Local unions at the first day of the union’s Ontario Regional Council.

The striking workers are fighting their employer, Compass Group Canada, for increased wages, health benefits – particularly dental – and paid sick days.

Their last collective agreement expired in 2020, but was extended to Dec. 2021. Since then, the members have been without a contract.

The Local filed for conciliation in September, and on Nov. 26, 2022, Compass Group Canada presented an offer, which the membership turned down. The employer came back with another offer the following day, but then abruptly rescinded it before the union could bring it back to the membership, citing it needed permission from the college to proceed.

“At a time when COVID, the flu and other viruses are prevalent, these members are without sick days,” said Local 462 President Andrew Kellman,

“They have none. If you’re going to ask people to stay at home if they’re feeling ill, you have to pay them. In terms of wages, any new employees are just above the $15.50 per hour mark and these members always get laid off at Christmas, normally, when classes are on a break. They deserve respect and not have to worry before the holidays.”

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 National Communications Representative: @email or (416) 938-6157.

Striking Durham College Foodservice workers on the picketline.
Media Contact

Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative