For immediate release
September 16, 2010
Holiday Inn Express workers in pain as owner tries to squeeze more profits
TORONTO- For the sixth time in two weeks, workers at a Toronto hotel went on strike today to draw attention to the poor treatment they are receiving from global hotel owners Westmont. Twenty-five workers at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown on Lombard Street walked off the job for the first time ever.
"Westmont has told us they want to be able to increase our workload even though we are already stretched," said Swarna Vjayakumaran, a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Express and member of UNITE HERE Local 75. "This work is hurting our bodies. We deserve to be able to come home and have energy left for our families and our communities. Westmont can afford to have us work without pain."
One of the world’s largest private hotel companies, the Westmont group owns 13 hotels in Toronto and another 500 hotels in North America, Europe and Asia. More than 2,000 workers across the city have been without a contact at Westmont properties, some since last February.
"This is a very, very wealthy company and it is shocking how they treat their employees with such disregard," added Vjayakumaran. "We are the workers who make sure this hotel runs efficiently and that guests receive high quality service. It seems that contribution is worth nothing to the owners by the way they are treating us."
Local 75 represents over 7,000 hotel, hospitality and gaming workers in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, please visit www.uniteherelocal75.org.