At its meeting on July 14, 2015, the YUFA Executive voted to express its support to UNITE HERE Local 75 in their fight to defend well-paying jobs in the Jane-Finch community. Local 75 is currently attempting to bargain a new collective agreement with the Holiday Inn Toronto-North York, managed by the Hamilton, ON-based Vrancor Group. Vrancor is refusing to accept the city-wide standard agreement that UNITE HERE has negotiated with twenty other Toronto hotels. This standard would include a 10.5% wage increase over four years. The employer has recently left the bargaining table and the local has begun job actions, including a one-day walkout on July 13.
The YUFA Executive supports UNITE HERE in their pursuit of a fair collective agreement consistent with others in the Toronto hotel sector and commends their principled stand in defence of high quality jobs in the Jane-Finch community. As members know, through our Community Projects Committee, our union has had a long-standing commitment to working with organizations in the communities that surround our campus to increase access to post-secondary education, strengthen neighbourhoods, and reduce socio-economic inequalities. We can think of no better way to contribute to that cause than to defend well-paying, unionized jobs in Jane-Finch.
The YUFA Executive also calls on both our members and York University administration to refrain from using York University’s block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Toronto-North York until a fair settlement is reached. As expressed in our University Academic Plan, York University is itself committed to social justice, equity, and community engagement in the service of the public good. We believe it would be inconsistent with the values of our university to validate the attempts of an employer to pay wages and benefits that are below the Toronto hotel industry standard, particularly given the negative impact that will have on our neighbours in Jane-Finch.
For more information about UNITE HERE's struggle at the Holiday Inn Toronto-North York, see the Toronto Star's recent coverage.