For immediate release
September 27, 2005
Toronto – Workers at the Fairmont Royal York are voting today in a strike authorization vote through their union, UNITE HERE Local 75. Despite 15 days of bargaining, involving a union negotiating committee and departmental committees that include more than 50 workers the Royal York, negotiations have not moved towards a settlement of outstanding issues.
Royal York workers are seeking protections on safe workload as well as improvements in wages, benefits and working conditions while company proposals attempt to move the collective agreement backwards.
“There are scores of outstanding issues. Having a strike authorization vote will send a clear message to the company negotiators that our members are serious about negotiations” said Paul Clifford, President, UNITE HERE Local 75 and Chief Negotiator for the union.
As a result of escalating workload and duties, room attendants at the Fairmont Royal York report being unable to take their breaks. Last Thursday September 22nd, room attendants at the Royal York took their breaks at the same time to ensure all workers are able to take their breaks.
Negotiations have focused on initially on workload and issues of working which remain unresolved. Voting will take place at the Royal York hotel from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Results of the vote are expected at 8:30 p.m.
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is owned by Legacy Hotel Corporation. Legacy Hotel Corporation is the largest luxury hotel owner in Canada with 24 properties and had earnings of $151.5 million (EBITDA) in 2004, an increase of 32.2% from 2003.
On January 31, 2006, 4000 workers at 23 Toronto hotels will also be in contract negotiations with major hotel companies.