July 13, 2015 12:16 ET

The Struggle for Good Jobs Continues in Jane & Finch

Hotel Workers Standing Up for Good Jobs in the Jane & Finch Community

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 13, 2015) - As the City of Toronto welcomes the Americas to the Pan Am Games, the struggle for good jobs continues in Jane & Finch, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada. Joined by hospitality workers from across the city, hotel workers from the Holiday Inn Express North York staged a one-day work stoppage on Monday, July 13, 2015. The owner/operator of the hotel, the Vrancor Group, is one of the only hotel companies across the city to refuse to agree to the new standard hotel contract.

"We came from all over the world to Canada to build a better lives for ourselves and our families," says Veronica Cousins, a Room Attendant at the hotel. "We don't want to be treated like second-class citizens. We only want what other hotel workers have."

While Local UNITE HERE Local 75 members working in hotels across the city have settled fair contracts along roughly the same standard, the owner and operator of the Holiday Inn Express North York - corporate entities controlled by Darko Vranich's Vrancor Group - have said 'no' to a fair deal. Now good jobs at the Holiday Inn Express North York are in jeopardy, and the Jane & Finch community could lose out.

Over 30 hotels across the GTA - big and small, multinationals or locally-owned - have all signed new collective agreements on a similar city-wide standard. The members of UNITE HERE Local 75 are leading the way to create good jobs with real benefits in the hospitality sector. The union hotel standard includes a fair wage, health benefits, pensions, and workload protections. This standard is especially important in a community like Jane and Finch where few jobs provide such benefits.

The Jane & Finch community needs well-paying, full-time, secure jobs with decent benefits. Unionized workplaces like the Holiday Inn Express North York provide these jobs that are the economic backbone of our community. When workers share in the success of their workplaces, our families succeed, our neighbourhoods, people, and businesses prosper.

"We've worked together to build good lives for ourselves and our families," says Cousins. "I live in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood and I know how badly we need good jobs. There's no way we can let an employer push us back, and take away what we've won - our community deserves better."

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