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More hotel workers vote to join Unifor, more votes planned

February 5, 2018

TORONTO – Another 215 hotel workers joined Unifor today after votes were held at hotels across Toronto and Mississauga, leaving behind the American union that had placed their old local in trusteeship.

“When given the choice, these workers have sent a clear signal that they want to be members of a union that listens to their concerns and treats them with respect,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “I am humbled that they have chosen Unifor.”

In the span of a week, almost 800 workers have voted to leave UNITE HERE, the U.S.-based union, to become members of the newly formed Unifor Local 7575, including those who voted today at Delta Toronto Airport hotels. Workers at the Doubletree Metropolitan and King Edward hotels narrowly voted to stay with the American union.

“These votes are being held so that workers can exercise their democratic right to choose. The democratic principle that members set the course for their union lies at the core of Unifor’s principles,” Dias said.

Votes will also be held on Wednesday at the Hilton downtown, Toronto Don Valley, Sheraton Toronto Airport and Four Points Airport hotels. The results of a vote last week at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Toronto are sealed in a dispute with the UNITE HERE.

The new members of Unifor Local 7575 will join more than 19,000 hospitality and gaming workers who are already members of Unifor, working at hotels and casinos across Canada, at every major hotel chain. Votes to leave UNITE HERE Local 75 began on January 29, weeks after the American parent union placed the local into trusteeship, despite repeated membership votes to not trustee the local. It also removed elected officers and seized the local's assets.

“By standing up to American leadership that doesn’t understand or appreciate their concerns, they are making the entire Canadian labour movement stronger,” said Lis Pimentel, who is leading the effort to bring hotel workers to Unifor.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.