By Stephen Ellis
December 2, 2015 was CUPE 3903’s Day of Solidarity with UNITE local 75. Throughout the day, 50 or so York University workers and students, as well as Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty activists and others, walked the picket line bringing a much-appreciated ruckus to the strike. Those in attendance chanted “up with the workers, down with boss,” in a show of genuine solidarity.
On October 5, 2015 hospitality workers walked off the job to demand fair wages, benefits, job security and pensions. Vrancor Group acquired the hotel two years ago and has continued to demand humiliating concessions from the union. This is the eighth week of the strike.
“We were here since day one of this strike and we’ve had different people coming down maybe even 10 times, since the strike started,” said Kyle Bailey of CUPE 3903. “We got involved because workers only win when they stand together in solidarity. It’s great that we have trade unions but trade unions are also limited in what they can achieve. They divide workers as well unite them, so in unions we have to stand together and that is real working class solidarity.”
“We’re out here because these workers haven’t gotten the same contract as the rest f the city has gotten, said David Anderson, a researcher with UNITE local 75. “We have settled contracts with about 35 hotels across Toronto along roughly the same standard for things like pensions, wages and benefits. And this is the first hotel owned by this company in Toronto and they don’t want to settle at the same standard as the rest of the city, and we can’t have that. Also, in a neighbourhood like Jane and Finch where there are so few good jobs, we can’t allow any good jobs to fall down the drain. We have to do everything we can to ensure this community isn’t left behind. “
Solidarity is key to winning this fight. Show your support by bringing your friends out to 30 Norfinch Drive in North York and walk the picket line with these workers. To get involved call 647 869 7651.