Potential hotel workers strike in Toronto: interesting...Toronto-Montreal cheaters
This is gonna get interesting.
The union representing more than 5,000 Toronto hotel workers voted overwhelmingly today in favour of a strike, should one be deemed necessary. As reported at thestar.com by reporter Katie Daubs, the union represents workers at 32 hotels across the city, including the Fairmont Royal York, Le Royal Meridien King Edward and the Hyatt Regency.
“There have been a lot of cuts to both shifts and services that are really having an impact on both workers and hotel guests,” Cicely Phillips, a Royal York room attendant and vice-president of Unite Here Local 75, said earlier.
If you're a union person, and I belong to one here at the Star, you gotta admire their timing. The G20 summit will train the eyes of the world (well, some of the eyes of the world) on Toronto come June 26-27. Surely the last thing the tourism folks here want is a bunch of angry picketers marching around what will already be chaotic downtown streets. It would be bad publicity for the city in general, and it certainly wouldn't help the hotels get more business in a very competitive environment.
However, it appears now that that won't happen, at least not on a very large scale. Daubs' story on our website quotes local president Paul Clifford as saying that workers at only one hotel - the Novotel on the Esplanade – would actually go on strike.
Apparently the union doesn't expect to be in a legal strike position at any other Toronto hotels prior to the start of the G20 summit on June 26.
“We want to both act responsibly for the G20 but also show that we are really determined to win a better standard for hotel workers, so that’s why we’re possibly engaging in a very limited strike action at the Novotel Toronto Centre,” he said in an interview with the Globe and Mail.
A Tourism Toronto official said the organization doesn't wish to comment on the labour situation, and you can't blame them for not wanting to get involved. A strike is the last thing they want, of course, but they don't want to be seen as interfering or taking sides.
I don't know the first thing about their complaints, but we all know that cleaning hotel rooms and working in the hotel industry in general is a tough, tough job. I certainly sympathize with their desire for better working conditions.
The hotels, of course, probably feel squeezed already by the economy in general, by the rise of the Canadian dollar (which really hurts American visits) and high taxes that discourage some folks from heading to the true north strong and expensive.
TORONTONIANS/MONTREALERS READY TO CHEAT ON THEIR CITY
These top runners are all vying for the #1 spot by encouraging people to vote for their hot and heavy confessions on www.quickiewithmontréal.com and www.ptiteviteavectoronto.com. Voting closes this Sunday, June 7 at 11:59 p.m. so it’s not too late to vote for your favourites.
It's a clever concept that we wrote about in the Star a couple weeks ago, and the videos look like fun. So check them out. I quite enjoyed the two women talking about how much they love Montreal smoked meat "and we're not talking about the kind that goes between two pieces of bread."
AIR CANADA/WESTJET NEWS
Air Canada today launched its summer schedule to Europe with the inauguration of non-stop seasonal flights to Barcelona and Athens from Toronto and Montreal. Air Canada will operate flights to Athens and Barcelona using 240-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.
Air Canada this week was voted Best Airline North America in an international survey by Skytrax, so congrats to them.
Over at WestJet, meanwhile, they announced today that they had a load factor of 77.7 per cent in May of this year, up from 74.1 per cent in May, 2009. Revenue passenger miles increased 18.9 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles, grew 13.4 per cent over the same period.
The airline flew an additional 125,000 guests in May 2010 compared to May 2009.
Air Canada for May reported a system load factor of 82.0 per cent on a consolidated basis with Jazz (from which Air Canada purchases regional capacity), versus 79.5 per cent in May 2009, an increase of 2.5 percentage points.