TORONTO, November 15, 2023 – Yesterday, Park Hyatt workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 75 voted in favour of a contract that brings them an average of more than 15 percent wage increases over one year. This historic agreement includes not only the largest ever wage increase in the union’s history, but the largest wage increase won by any unionized hotel across the province.
At a time when affordability in the city is challenging, as the GTA’s hospitality and food service workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 75 is pleased with its continued success in leading the sector in the fight for good wages.
“We are proud of our Park Hyatt members who have fought hard not only for this contract, but to raise the standard for hotel workers across Toronto. This victory proves what is achievable with the power of a strong union led by its members,” said Guled Warsame, President of UNITE HERE Local 75. The historic 15 percent increase will take place over one year, after which union members will negotiate a new contract.
UNITE HERE Local 75 members have a strong track record of achieving industry leading contracts. Through resolve and determination, the union is changing lives in the hospitality sector by ensuring that jobs are safe and that they provide enough to raise families on. Through their contract fights over the years, UNITE HERE Local 75 members have seen monumental achievements that include the highest wages in the sector, the best health benefits in the country, job security, and much more.
“We love what we do and are dedicated to doing our best in our jobs, which are very demanding physically. This contract means so much to us, especially when people across the Greater Toronto Area are struggling with inflation and the increasing cost of living,” said Hayato Ochiai, Park Hyatt Bell Attendant and UNITE HERE Local 75 member. “Many workers in our industry can barely make ends meet. But as members of UNITE HERE Local 75 we are paving the way to change lives for the better, and to ensure that workers in our industry get their fair share.”
Moving forward, the union sees this victory as an opportunity to achieve even bigger successes. Home to over 8,000 members across southern Ontario, the local has more wins in the pipeline.
“There are many workers in our industries who are not unionized,” added Warsame. “This record-breaking contract is a message; hotel, food service, and gaming workers are the ambassadors to this city who have the right to a fair wage that can help them and their loved ones not only live, but thrive. Park Hyatt will not be the last UNITE HERE workplace to raise the industry standards.”
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.
UNITE HERE Local 75 joins the growing calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a safe corridor to allow much-needed aid into the besieged area. Humanitarian organizations call the situation on the ground in Gaza “catastrophic”, as no water, electricity, or basic supplies have been allowed into the Gaza strip, home to over 2 million people, since the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel.
As the situation in Gaza worsens, where more than 8,000 civilians, including over 3,000 children have been killed, UNITE HERE Local 75 calls for a definite end to all hostilities from all sides, and urges the Canadian government to work with the Israeli and Egyptian governments to lift the 17 year old blockade on the Gaza strip so that the people of Gaza can have their basic rights of movement, freedom, and safety and security, and their dignity restored.
As of now, all hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed with patients, injured victims, and displaced families seeking shelter after their homes were bombed. That is not all; the blockade and constant besiegement on the small, dense area have left hospitals without any fuel or clean water, making room for the spread of infectious diseases and making treating those in urgent need nearly impossible.
Without a complete cessation of hostilities, any attempts to let aid into Gaza would be futile, as vehicles, civilians, schools, shelters, and even hospitals have been targeted and bombed. UNITE HERE Local 75 calls on all stakeholders with power to act immediately to stop the violence before any further, preventable casualties.
It is Thanksgiving season! The season that serves as a reminder for us to look back in gratitude and look forward with inspiration and insight, as we count our blessings and express our appreciation for our big union family.
This Thanksgiving, we are thankful to UNITE HERE Local 75 members, our union’s most powerful link, for their leadership in our ongoing fight for a better world for their families, their colleagues, and for all of us. As we prepare to enter a new round of bargaining, let us reflect on our past victories, all of which were successful thanks to our brothers, sisters, and siblings who are the reason we are here today.
It is also important to acknowledge that, while some of us enjoy a warm Thanksgiving weekend with our families and loved ones, workers across hospitality, food services, and gaming sectors work hard to make this Thanksgiving holiday a special and memorable one for the thousands of people visiting the Greater Toronto Area. Many of these workers are not yet unionized – it is our duty to bring them into our extended UNITE HERE family and continue raising the standard for hospitality workers in Canada.
Today, and every day, we are all here united thanks to this continuous hard work and dedication of thousands of our members, and we will continue working hard for greater victories and better lives, united, hand in hand with our big UNITE HERE Local 75 family.
On Monday, September 4, 2023, UNITE HERE Local 75’s members and their families will come together in Toronto for the union’s annual Labour Day march.
The march, which will start at Armoury Street at 8 AM, aims to celebrate the over 8,000 Local 75 members across the Greater Toronto Area, predominantly immigrants, women, and people of colour. This celebration is at the core of the Labour Day spirit, a day that reminds us of the continued fight for workers’ rights and better conditions for all. That fight is especially crucial to achieve equality for minorities and women, who are often more vulnerable to exploitation by their employers.
What is Labour Day?
Every year, unions, the labour movement, and workers across Canada celebrate Labour Day on the first Monday of September. The historic day started at a time when unions where illegal in Canada, in 1872. Labour Day existed initially to give workers the chance to campaign for better working conditions, such as 8-hour workdays, weekends, and better pay. Today, Labour Day is a statutory holiday across Canada to celebrate the achievements of workers.