UNITE HERE Local 75: Striking Hotel Workers Celebrate Growing Support

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Oct. 30, 2010) – Hotel workers, on strike at Toronto’s Delta Chelsea hotel, are cheering news of support from Carpenters Union Local 27. Its members, the newest in what is fast becoming a groundswell of solidarity, will be on the picket lines today, 11 – 1 p.m.

Carpenters Local 27 President Mike Yorke notes that the Delta Chelsea’s reputation is on the line with this strike. “The issues that hotel workers face daily such as dangerous workloads, too-low wages and lack of respect should not be encountered by any workers, ever. Unions put a lot of money into this hotel. It can be withdrawn if management does not take these matters seriously. Now, more than ever, workers need to stand together.”

Negotiations with the hotel broke down on Monday. Key issues include safer workloads, stable jobs and economic security, the outcomes of which will have tangible and immediate effects on the lives and prospects of the workers. There is much at stake.

“I take pain killers on a regular basis just to do my job,” says Otis Anderson, who has worked as a room attendant at the Delta Chelsea for 19 years. “So many of us do. I’m a strong person, but the pain follows me home and it’s affecting my whole life. Work shouldn’t hurt this much.”

“I’ve worked for over 30 years at the Delta Chelsea,” says Feliz Serrano, a server. “I normally work 40 hours a week. That was cut to 20-30 hours a week during the recession, which is a huge pay cut. It’s been very hard on my family. But now, even though it’s busy again, I’m still not getting full hours.”

Servers, cooks, housekeepers, parking attendants and many other workers will be on the picket lines and available for interviews.

Delta Chelsea is operated by Delta Hotels, which is now wholly owned by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC).