UNITE HERE represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in Hospitality, Airports, Laundry, Food Service, Gaming, Manufacturing and Textile

"Level of service not disrupted?" Strikers question Delta Chelsea message to customers as picket lines swell, customers relocate

October 28, 2010

Toronto, ON. Picketing workers at the Delta Chelsea reacted with disbelief at a press release by management claiming that “service levels to our valued guests has not been disrupted.” “Has our General Manager looked inside the hotel recently?” wondered Eula Marcos. “How can 100 managers replace the work of 500 experienced front line workers? Perhaps it would be possible - if the hotel is nearly empty.”

As picket lines went up, many guests and meetings chose to move elsewhere. Susan Rosenthal MD, a speaker at a conference of mental health professionals, said, “As a health care professional I have learned that decent working conditions are the foundation of mental and physical health. That's why I am supporting these workers’ efforts to win real economic security. I will not cross their picket line. I respectfully asked the conference to relocate, and I am pleased to say that they are doing so."

A meeting of the Crown Attorneys’ Association also moved their meeting, as did the Canadian Centre for Elder Law. Former Toronto mayor and current Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall was a speaker at the latter conference.

The CAW, in the midst of its own bargaining session at the Delta Chelsea, moved its meetings with a further pledge. President Ken Lewenza said, “ We will not use any hotel where Local 75 workers have a strike or boycott underway.” Air Canada flight attendants, represented by CUPE, have also moved their regular business to a different hotel.

“The support from customers has been tremendous,” said Holeden Brown, a member of the bargaining committee. “Many have joined us on the picket line. We feel strong and proud of what we are doing here, even though it’s a difficult economic sacrifice.”

If you are a customer wishing to get updates on the Delta Chelsea labour dispute, please contact Amarjeet Kaur Chhabra at achhabra@unitehere.org or 416-703-8455 x 307.

For more information, contact: JJ Fueser, 416-893-8570 or Lynn Simmons, 416-668-7480

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