For immediate release
January 14, 2011
Toronto, ON – On January 13, 2011, Unite Here Local 75 members at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel ratified their new collective agreement with 89% voting in favour.
This comes after significant mobilization of Local 75 hotel workers across the city, starting with a citywide strike authorization vote last May, a two-day strike at the Novotel Toronto Centre during the G20 Summit, rolling one-day strikes at Westmont-owned hotels during the Toronto International Film Festival, and a two-week strike at the Delta Chelsea Hotel. The Royal York is the fifth hotel to settle after the Delta Chelsea Hotel strike.
Michelle Williams, a member of the Union’s Negotiating Committee, said, "I’m very pleased with the result. This is a step forward for us and for all hotel workers in the city."
The agreement has no concessions and includes improvements in wages, health benefits, retirement, job security, subcontracting protections, workload, and the TTC pass subsidy.
"During the economic downturn, I sometimes felt like I was doing the jobs of two or three people. Now we have a real say about staffing levels and workload," said Myleen Piansay, another member of the Union’s Negotiating Committee.
Helen Liu, a longtime Local 75 activist at the Royal York said, "I’m so happy! I didn’t want to retire until we won this collective agreement. Now I can retire with a better retirement package, and I can be very proud of what we have achieved during my time at the hotel."
The Fairmont Royal York is the third Westmont-owned hotel to settle a collective agreement with Local 75. Many Westmont-owned hotels are still without a new agreement.
UNITE HERE now represents over 8,000 hospitality workers in the Greater Toronto Area.