Hotel workers at the Hyatt Regency, home of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, have begun a one-day walkout after they bargained past a midnight deadline without reaching a new agreement.
Picketing began at 7:30 a.m. on September 3. A massive rally of hotel workers and others from across the city will take place at 5:30 p.m. in front of the hotel. Unions from the film sector will rally in support of the hotel workers, saying that good hotel jobs, like good film jobs, are vital for the economic health of the city.
"We will be holding one day of action on Friday and will be back to work on Saturday," explained Althea Porter-Harvey, a Hyatt employee and member of UNITE HERE Local 75 which represents the workers. “We are still hopeful we can reach an agreement."
“Our industry spends a lot of money on hotels and it’s frankly shocking to discover that the people who work so hard to make up the rooms we’re paying for are being treated so poorly," said Heather Allin, President of ACTRA Toronto. "If Toronto’s hotel workers cannot resolve relations with Hyatt to ensure workers are treated with respect, then my union will support Hyatt workers in this city and across the continent. They deserve to make a decent living from the work they do. Hyatt will face a determined boycott if they aren’t fair to the hard working people who make their hotels possible."
Read the full press release here.