Picket lines went up around the Delta Chelsea at 7 AM on October 27 as hundreds of the hotel’s employees took to the streets. UNITE HERE Local 75 members say the hotel failed to make progress on key issues, including the protection of full-time, stable jobs and hours; safer workloads and economic security. The collective agreement expired in February 2010.
Feliz Serrano, a 30-year server at the Delta Chelsea said: "How long do you have to work at a hotel before you can expect the security of a 40-hour workweek? After 30 years of service to the hotel, I am lucky if I get 30 hours of work each week, and that’s only if I’m willing to work six days in a row. The Delta Chelsea continues to take away our rights to work and have a decent life. We have waited long enough. It’s time we get what we deserve."
The workers reached a strike/lockout deadline last week, and voted 95% to authorize a strike earlier this summer. Employees working for other hotels have staged a successful series of one day strike actions earlier this fall during the G20 Summit and the Toronto International Film Festival, calling attention to the growing divide in the fortunes of hotel companies and hotel workers.