UNITE HERE! Local 75

UNITE HERE! Local 75

October 19, 2017 17:30 ET

Hotel workers fight to save their good jobs from demolition

With a wave of re-development applications, Toronto's condo boom threatens hundreds of good jobs downtown

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 19, 2017) - This Thursday, hundreds of hotel workers and their supporters rallied in front of the head offices of KingSett Capital, controlling owners of the Courtyard by Marriott and Fairmont Royal York, protesting KingSett's plans to largely convert the Courtyard property to condo use, significantly reducing the number of hotel rooms in the development. The action is part of a North America-wide day of action by the hospitality workers' union, UNITE HERE, involving more than forty cities across Canada and the US.

Toronto's hotel workers are mostly immigrants, women and people of colour. Through their union, UNITE HERE Local 75, many workers have been able to turn traditionally low-wage, part-time, precarious jobs into good, stable, full-time jobs with a living wage, decent benefits, and job security. However, now these good, union hotel jobs are threatened by Toronto's condo boom.

The proposal for re-developing and partially converting the Courtyard by Marriott is part of a larger, city-wide trend driven by this condo boom. There are re-development applications for at least ten Toronto hotels affecting thousands of union and non-union hotel workers. In addition, there are concerns more hotels could see re-development proposals.

"So many of us working in the industry rely on these good, union jobs to support our families and our communities," said Albertha Williams, a housekeeper at the Holiday Inn Yorkdale, another hotel slated for re-development. "When you demolish hotels to build condos, you eliminate our good jobs, and it's mostly women, immigrants and minority workers that suffer."

"Many hotel owners have decided they can make more money knocking down their properties and building mixed-use projects that get rid of some or all of the hotel," said Louie Naccarato, Bell Captain at the Courtyard by Marriott. "Thousands of hotel jobs in Toronto could be at risk, and the entire tourism and hospitality sector could suffer if the city doesn't have enough hotel rooms to attract large group and convention customers."

KingSett Capital is one the owners of the Courtyard by Marriott (475 Yonge St) and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. KingSett has plans to demolish the Courtyard, replacing it with a mixed-use condo hotel project that will substantially reduce the number of hotel rooms - eliminating many good, stable, full-time jobs. There are concerns that part of Fairmont Royal York could be converted to condo use as well.

Contact Information