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Press Release

Dispute Deepens at Jane & Finch Hotel

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 22, 2015) - For the second time in two weeks, hotel workers at the Holiday Inn Express North York walked off the job today, as they continue to stand up for good jobs in the Jane & Finch community. While employers at dozens of other GTA-area hotels have settled fair contacts with their workers, the owner/operator of the Holiday Inn Express North York, the Hamilton-based Vrancor Group, has dug in its heels.

"All we want is what dozens of other hotel employers have agreed to," says Veronica Cousins, a Room Attendant at the hotel. "Most of us are immigrants who've come to Canada to make a better life for our families. We work hard, and all we're asking for is our fair share."

The hotel workers were joined by some students and faculty from nearby York University, hotel and food service workers from across the GTA, and John Cartwright, President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council. Also on the picket line were members of the Jane & Finch community who have been talking with Local 75 leaders in the last few weeks about the good jobs crisis in Jane & Finch. In addition, Tom Rakocevic, Executive Assistant to local City Councillor Anthony Perruzza, came to investigate the deepening crisis.

Over 30 hotels across the GTA -- big and small, multinationals or locally-owned -- have all signed new collective agreements on a similar city-wide standard. The members of UNITE HERE Local 75 are leading the way to create good jobs with real benefits in the hospitality sector. The union hotel standard includes a fair wage, health benefits, pensions, and workload protections. This standard is especially important in a community like Jane and Finch where few jobs provide such benefits.

Cousins and her co-workers at the hotel say they plan to continue to increase the pressure on their employer until they win a fair contract. "Many of us have worked here for years, and we're proud of the gains we've made. We're not going to let the Vrancor Group hold us back or take away what we've won -- our families and community deserve better."

Marc Hollin
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