Little-known company will have disproportionate impact on Toronto’s hotel workers
Just days before the G20 summit in Toronto, five hundred hotel workers gathered at the Fairmont Royal York to put a spotlight on Westmont, one of the world’s largest hotel owners. They rallied for fair contracts and to express their concern that Westmont will use the rhetoric of recession to lock in cuts and attack their standards in upcoming negotiations.
Fully one third of Toronto hotel workers bargaining this summer are employees of Westmont-owned hotels including the Fairmont Royal York. The rally coincided with an annual meeting of investors in a Real Estate Investment Trust sponsored by Westmont, InnVest.
“InnVest and Westmont are expecting to reap a windfall because of the G20 Summit,” said Cicely Phillips, a Room Attendant at the Fairmont Royal York and Vice President of Local 75. “Hotel workers have struggled hard to finally make hotel jobs good jobs and now Westmont is threatening that ‘liveable’ employment.” Ashley Hardy, representing Local 261 in Ottawa, added that in her city, InnVest has asked for concessions by hotel workers, despite the fact that most hotels in Ottawa have performed well, even during the downturn.