Union for hospitality workers in the GTA aims to raise standards across the industry

Front desk workers at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel voted in favour of joining the Toronto Hospitality Employees Union.

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On November 1, 2022, the front desk workers at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel voted 100 per cent in favour of joining the Toronto Hospitality Employees Union (THEU–CSN) in their Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) union certification election. THEU–CSN already represents the hostesses and hosts at the Royal York, who joined the union this May. Neither of these two groups of workers has been unionized before.

THEU–CSN has also filed to represent all other Fairmont Royal York workers. A decision from the OLRB is forthcoming.

"Hospitality workers throughout the GTA deserve much more," explains Ashley Hayes, THEU–CSN secretary-treasurer. "We've seen a boom in the industry in the last few years. More hotels are being built and the record profits these hotels are making are astronomical, yet none of the workers in these new hotels are unionized. We want workers to join us and organize to win CSN standards, so they can claim their part in this industry-wide boom and raise standards for themselves and for all hospitality workers in Toronto. We encourage all hospitality workers to reach out and join our movement."

Hayes adds: "For the exact same job in our industry, people can expect to make four, five, even six dollars an hour more in Montreal or Quebec City than they earn in Toronto. For a full-time worker, that's more than $10,000 a year. That is ridiculous, especially when you take into account the cost of living, which is higher in Toronto. In fact, in almost every other economic sector, people earn more for the same job in Toronto than they do in Montreal. That's why workers in the hospitality sector need to unite and reclaim their fair share of the wealth that they create."

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