Hampton Inn and other hotel workers demand better work conditions, higher wages.

On International Workers Day, Hundreds of Toronto Area Hotel Workers will Picket for a Fair Contract

Workers from UNITE HERE Local 75 are calling on Hotels to Raise Standards, Wages.

Toronto – to commemorate International Workers Day on May 1st, also known as May Day, over 300 UNITE HERE Local 75 members who work at hotels across the Greater Toronto Area are picketing outside the Hampton Inn and Suites in Mississauga, near the Toronto Pearson Airport, starting at 4 PM. Picketing workers are demanding higher wages, respect, and job security that can help them support their families and themselves.

“When we were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, hotel workers across the country suffered the most,” said Guled Warsame, UNITE HERE Local 75 President and Canadian Director. “Since then, hotels across Canada, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area have not only recovered but are making record profits. That has yet to be reflected in our members’ salaries and work conditions. This must change, and our members are fighting for the living wages they deserve. We are not backing down until we win our fair share!”

Hotels like the Hampton Inn and Suites continue to receive significant funding from government contracts that fill their rooms. And yet, they lay off more staff.

Workers from the Hampton Inn and Suites, as well as from numerous other properties, family members, and allies will picket, chant, and share stories about their struggles to keep up with the rising cost of living without that being reflected in their wages, hours of work, or work conditions.

“Rent and grocery bills are getting more expensive! We are fighting to make sure we don’t fall behind. We know that the number of guests checking in at our hotel has recovered very well since the Pandemic,” said Winsome Hall, UNITE HERE Local 75 member, and Room Attendant at the Hampton Inn. “It is about time that this recovery is reflected in our wages, proper scheduling, and working conditions.”

GTA Workers are joining thousands of hotel workers across Canada and the U.S as they prepare for contract negotiations and possible widespread labour disputes at major hotel brands. Across the Toronto area, more than 30 hotels, covering over 6,000 workers, are set to expire in the coming few months, including at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, the Hilton Toronto Airport, the Toronto Marriott City Centre, and more.

Since the onset of the pandemic, many hotels throughout North America have scaled back services and staffing, while the hotel industry’s Gross Operating Profit per available room in Canada for the first nine months of 2023 was 20.7% higher than the same period in 2019. Hotel room rates have reached record highs as these service cuts linger.

Hotel workers in Toronto are calling for the hotel industry to “Respect Our Work” and “Respect Our Guests” by raising wages and reversing cuts both in hours and in staffing, which have led to painful working conditions. Nationally, hotel workers report heavy workloads, loss of hours, and jobs that aren’t enough to afford the cost of living.

About UNITE HERE Local 75

UNITE HERE is the strongest hospitality union in North America, with more than 300,000 members in the USA and Canada working in the hotels, food service, and gaming sectors. UNITE HERE Local 75 represents nearly 8,000 hospitality workers in the Greater Toronto Area.

Media Contact: Mahmoud (Moody) Shabeeb, [email protected], 647-674-2456