UNITE HERE in The Hill Times

Local 75 President Guled Warsame and Local 40 President Zailda Chan spoke out about the plight of hospitality workers in The Hill Times demanding that the government put workers front and centre in the Federal Relief efforts for Aviation and Hospitality sectors. 

“Desperate to stay afloat, hospitality and airline industries and aviation authorities are asking for sectoral relief, such as forgivable loans, rent and fee waivers, tax deferrals and relaxed regulations. While government should consider the unique impact the pandemic has on our sectors, we believe the industry’s workers must be the centre of any sectoral relief package.”

Members across the country are telling their government “Relief for the industry must include relief for workers!” Click here to add your voice!

UNITE HERE Canada demands hospitality bailout puts workers first!

Local 75 and other UNITE HERE locals across Canada are demanding a seat at the table as Trudeau begins to consider relief packages specifically for hospitality.
Included in our demands: any future support provided to industry sectors such as hotels, airlines & airline caterers, airport or sports stadiums, UNITE HERE is calling on the government to compel employers to:
  • Agree to participate in Canada Emergency Wage Subsity (CEWS) and return at least 100% of workers laid-off due to COVID to the payroll covering wages and benefits throughout the life of the CEWS program.
  • Calculate hospitality workers’ CEWS income with a 12-month average. Workers will otherwise fall through the cracks. Winter is normally marked by short hours, low income and even layoffs, an inappropriate CEWS measure for seasonal workers.
  • Put in place an extended recall period for workers for up to 24 months.
  • Guarantee workers in high Covid-19 risk worksites government certified health and safety training, full PPE and appropriate hazard pay.
Click here to read the letter sent to Minister of Finance Bill Morneau.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Portal is Now Online

As of this morning (Monday April 6, 2020), the reporting portal for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is now live. If you qualify for EI but have not yet applied, you must go through the CERB portal. Your application will be processed there, where it will be determined whether you qualify for EI or CERB. You will be automatically redirected to the benefit you qualify for. For more information on CERB and EI, check out our FAQ page.

Due to the high volume of Canadians like currently reporting, the Federal Government as advised applicants to log into the portal according to the following guidelines:

CERB is a $2,000 benefit distributed once a month for 4 months. The benefit is taxable – recipients will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing. An information slip for the 2020 tax year will be posted on the CRA portal, in My Account under Tax Information Slips (T4 and more).

Be sure to visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre for information and updates.

UNITE HERE! Canada Responds to COVID-19 Crisis

Yesterday, UNITE HERE Leadership from across Canada held a press conference to discuss with major news organizations the unprecedented economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on workers nationwide in a recorded tele-press conference. For coverage, see below

CTV News TorontoNearly 90 per cent of hospitality workers will lose jobs because of COVID-19 pandemic, union predicts

Global News: Hospitality union offers help as hotels considered as makeshift hospitals 

Canadian Press (as seen in National Post): Hospitality workers hit ‘first and hit hardest’, says union seeking more support

CTV Vancouver: Hospitality workers call for financial support in face of mass layoffs 

CBC: Hospitality workers’ union says 90% of members have lost their jobs in past 2 weeks

To listen to a complete recording of the UNITE HERE Canada press conference, click here.

To see the letter Local 75 sent to Premier Ford, click here..

Resources for members impacted by COVID-19

Please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus and Toronto.ca/covid-19 for the up to date information on the virus and government guidelines on isolation.

Please call the Toll-Free Local 75 Hotline at 1 877-354-1616 between 8:30-4:30 pm Monday-Friday for additional questions and assistance.

**Starting April 6, there is one single portal for applying for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB), available to all who qualify for unemployment payments (EI) and to many who do not. Click here to learn more.

The situation with regard to available assistance is changing. This page offers resources for you that are current as of the time of writing.  To the most up-to-date info, please sign up for text alerts by clicking here or call the hotline.

For resources on health & safety at work during COVID-19, click here.

While everyone is doing their part to minimize the impact of COVID-19, we recognize our members have been some of the first and worst hit by this crisis, and will be working hard to connect Union members to all available resources and benefits to weather this storm. See the below links for more information:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) & Employment Insurance (EI)

Provincial Support for Families

Other Federal Relief Programs (GSTC benefit, Canada Child Benefit, delayed tax filing, student loans).

Budgeting & Dealing with Creditors

Mortgage or Rent

Utilities & Other Bills

Food Assistance

Health & Medical Resources

Mental Health

We also want to reassure you that there will be no loss of benefits during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to read more.

For more information about federal, provincial, and GTA relief efforts, visit this page from the Toronto & York Area Labour Council.

If you require assistance accessing services including EI and CERB, a Service Canada agent will be able to contact you within two business days, visit this page to learn more.

An important message to Prime Minister Trudeau on COVID-19

On March 17, 2020, your UNITE HERE Local 75 Executive Leadership sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chairs of the Cabinet Committee. In the letter, Local 75 leadership asks for key enhancements so our members don’t bear the brunt of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the letter here.

COVID-19 and your benefits, pay and EI – what you need to know

Click here to read an important COVID-19 update from your UNITE HERE Local 75 Executive Leadership. The update provides an overview of how the Local is fighting to for your benefits, sick days and pay through the COVID-19 outbreak.

Local 75 has also created resources for you and your colleagues. Please download the posters below and share them with your teams.

Hand Washing Guide
What is the Coronavirus?

Protecting yourself during the coronavirus outbreak

The well-being of our members is a top priority for UNITE HERE Local 75. We are following the spread of a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) that was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China.

There are currently a limited number of cases of coronavirus COVID-19 in Canada and the risk of contracting the virus in the GTA remains low.

However, due to the nature of their work, our members come in contact with people from around the world, so it is advised that they practice extra diligence throughout this outbreak.

We will continue to monitor and advise our members when there are any significant changes. For the most up-to-date information, visit Health Canada’s website frequently.

 

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

A number of coronaviruses infect humans every year, and there are four in particular that cause the common cold. The symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to the cold or flu.

The situation is rapidly evolving and Public Health Ontario, along with the Ministry of Health, is closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance.

 

What are the symptoms of the virus?

Symptoms are usually mild to moderate and can include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Full-body rash
  • Diarrhea

Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have the virus. Monitor your symptoms and contact your healthcare provider if they worsen.

You should stay home from work if you are experiencing these symptoms AND have travelled to any of the following impacted areas:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea

 

How to prevent contracting a virus
Most respiratory viruses, like the flu or the coronavirus, are transmitted by droplets (primarily coughing and sneezing). There are simple things you can do to prevent transmitting it to others:

  • clean your hands
  • avoid touching your face
  • stay home if you feel like you’re getting sick
  • and cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve, rather than your hands

UNITE HERE Local 75 Membership Update

2019 was indeed a banner year for UNITE HERE Local 75. It was a flurry of activity and change, and we are happy to provide you this brief update on the year. We hope you are proud of the gains we have made – we could not have done it without the steadfast support of our 8000 members.

Click here to read to read the update to our members.

We look forward to an even better 2020! Together, we will continue to lead the way as the GTA’s largest hospitality union.