UNITE HERE! Local 75

UNITE HERE! Local 75

March 02, 2017 09:40 ET

Toronto hotel workers join striking cafeteria workers to hold second silent vigil at Queen's Park, calling for end to poverty-wage jobs on campus and highlighting need for labour law reform

Cafeteria workers - most of whom make barely above minimum wage - work for a sub-contractor at York University and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 2, 2017) - Sub-contracted cafeteria workers at York University and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus are on strike, fighting to end poverty-wage jobs on campus. The workers will hold a second silent vigil in front of Queen's Park, holding picket signs showing their hourly wages, and will be joined by Toronto hotel workers.

Most of the striking cafeteria workers working for a sub-contractor at UTSC make $11.50 an hour, while most workers at York make $12.21 an hour.

As the provincial government considers a number of measures to address so-called precarious work - low-wage jobs with little job security - a growing chorus of community leaders and elected officials are calling on the universities and the provincial government to make a commitment to good jobs, so no worker on campus works for poverty wages. Additionally, more and more people are calling on the provincial government to close the legal loopholes that lock sub-contracted food service workers - mostly women, immigrants and people of colour - into poverty-wage jobs that increasingly underpin the Toronto economy.

The strikers will be joined by a number of hotel workers, also members of UNITE HERE Local 75. Over the past few years, over 4,000 downtown hotel workers have organized together to turn their jobs into good jobs, with living wages, good benefits for workers and their families, and job security. As such, hotel workers prove that, with the right tools, everyone in Toronto can build a decent future for themselves and their families.

"Ontario's employment laws need be changed to make it fair for sub-contracted cafeteria workers like us, so we have the same opportunity to build good jobs in our industry," says Patrice Callaghan, a sub-contracted cafeteria working at UTSC.

The silent vigil is the second in two weeks. Last Thursday, a number of NDP MPPs came to visit the vigil, offering their support and solidarity to the strikers.

What: Striking cafeteria workers, working for a sub-contractor at York University and UTSC, will hold a silent vigil, holding signs showing their hourly wage (most workers from UTSC make $11.50 an hour, while at York most make $12.21)
When: Thursday, March 2nd from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Where: Queen's Park, Toronto

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