For immediate release
February 1, 2006
Ryerson expert says jobs must benefit communities.
Toronto hotel workers welcome any new government investment in Toronto tourism but to truly benefit the people of this city, investment must be tied to the creation of good jobs that will sustain the city’s communities. This statement is a response to today’s call by the Greater Toronto Hotel Association for renewed government investment to market Toronto to U.S. tourists.
“We agree that it is important to grow this sector. Toronto needs a strong tourism economy to generate revenue and to create jobs,” says Paul Clifford, President of UNITE HERE Local 75 which represents over 6,000 Toronto hotel workers. “But in order to truly stimulate the economy and serve the community, the sector needs to provide good jobs that can sustain a family. We support a public investment in the sector, but only if that investment comes with the proper responsibility.”
“We have publicly invited the hotel industry to partner with us in a High Road vision of cooperation to build better jobs,” adds Clifford. “This vision would involve skills training, career and promotional opportunities that will build a highly skilled workforce that is key to maintaining Toronto as a world-class tourism destination.”
Toronto hotel workers are part of a North American movement to raise the standard of living in a sector where most jobs are filled by immigrants, women and people of colour. “We are striving to make a better life for ourselves and our families,” says Toronto housekeeper Zeleda Davis. “We should not have to work two jobs, sacrifice our health and still raise our children in poverty.”
“Any investment of tax dollars must come with a responsibility of hotels to create jobs in our communities that allow people to live and retire with dignity and security,” says Ryerson professor Grace-Edward Galabuzi, an expert in race relations and social exclusion. “The violence and poverty that are affecting our communities, and tarnishing Toronto’s image, will only be addressed by ensuring that people have jobs with decent wages and benefits.”
For more information contact:
Valerie Dugale, Precedent Communications at 647-225-3685 Paul Clifford, UNITE HERE at 416-801-7508