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Toronto – March 27, 2018 – UFCW Canada activists joined over 1,000 labour allies for a Unity Rally outside Toronto’s Royal York Fairmont Hotel on Monday, in support of UNITE HERE Local 75 members currently bargaining a new collective agreement. More than 900 UNITE HERE members work at the historic hotel.
The afternoon rush-hour rally was organized by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). Under a sea of yellow flags, about one hundred UFCW activists marched with other CLC affiliate unions and UNITE HERE members in a peaceful march outside the Royal York’s main entrance.
The rally powerfully demonstrated to the Royal York Hotel that UNITE HERE Local 75 members have the full support of CLC affiliates in backing the workers’ demands for a fair collective agreement – despite a divisive manoeuvre by UNIFOR renegades to raid the membership and distract them during bargaining.
“Knowing our union is backed by the 3.3 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress fortifies us as we move forward in negotiating an improved contract. We are stronger just knowing they have our back,” said Cicely Phillips, a room attendant and member of the UNITE HERE Local 75 Negotiating Committee at the Royal York. Sister Phillips was joined by other speakers who rallied the crowd, with tens of thousands of homebound commuters witnessing the rally as they headed to catch subway and commuter trains across the street at Toronto’s Union Station.
“UFCW Canada stands one hundred percent in unity with UNITE HERE,” says National President Paul Meinema. “The best way for workers to advance is with a strong collective agreement that is bargained in good faith, unity, and the backing of true allies if required,” Meinema adds.