Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

November 25, 2011 06:30 ET

Ontario Union Movement Will Stand on Alert for Potential Boycott of Novotel Hotels and French Hotel Giant Accor

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2011) - More than 1000 delegates representing over one million Ontario workers and 51 unions showed their resounding support for hotel workers' determination to organize unions at three Ontario Novotel hotels owned by French hotel giant Accor.

Workers at the three non-union Novotels in Mississauga, North York and Ottawa, Ontario have been struggling to form a union in their workplaces since late 2008. Independent elected officials have verified strong majority support for the union in each of the non-union hotels two times since the organizing drives began.

Rather than recognizing the union, Accor has disciplined, suspended, and even terminated a number of workers who are known union supporters. The company's actions are now the subject of ongoing hearings before the Province of Ontario's Labour Relations Board.

Last week, the Ontario New Democratic Party pledged to honour a boycott of the Novotel Hotels should UNITE HERE, the North American hotel workers union the Novotel workers are seeking to join, call for it. Sid Ryan, re-elected as President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Canada's largest labour federation, commented:

"Accor's behaviour at the Novotels in Ontario is unacceptable and places it among one of the most anti-union employers in Canada. We cannot let foreign corporations like French-based Accor come into our communities and treat workers this way."

Rekha Sharma - a server working at the Novotel Mississauga - told delegates that UNITE HERE was starting to work with other Accor hotel workers around the world who, like the workers in Canada, want to organize themselves into unions:

"Whether we work for Accor in Canada or Indonesia or anywhere else, we need to organize ourselves and work together to make sure that Accor respects our basic human right to join a union."

The OFL will closely monitor the situation and will work with UNITE HERE Locals 75 and 261 to protect the human and labour rights of workers seeking to organize.

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