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:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Full-body rash
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:
- Hong Kong
- 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
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.
On March 29th hospitality workers with UNITE HERE Local 75 elected a new leadership. More than 1/3rd of our membership participated in the election, the highest voter turnout in our local’s history. Our new leadership was elected with a decisive 83% of the vote. The election marks our local’s transition out of trusteeship as we welcome a diverse new set of local leaders.
During the trusteeship, our membership successfully defeated Unifor Canada’s attempt to raid our local. In this period thousands of hospitality workers have sent a strong message to both the labour movement and employers as we continue to secure some of the strongest collective agreements our sector has seen in the last two decades.
“Our members have sent a clear message to employers across the GTA by securing such strong contracts,” said President Nuredin Bulle. “We’re looking forward to continuing this work and expanding our organizing efforts under new local leadership.”
“We are a local of immigrants, women and people of colour and I’m proud to be part of a team that truly reflects our membership,” said Secretary Treasurer Shelli Sareen.
UNITE HERE Local 75 is organizing an event to welcome the new leadership and celebrate the local’s victories in contract negotiations the evening of April 24th at the Sheraton Centre Toronto at 123 Queen Street West, Toronto ON.
UNITE HERE Local 75 represents nearly 8,000 hospitality workers across the GTA. We celebrate our diversity as a union of immigrants, people of colour and women in the sector, leading the struggle for social justice in our local labour movement.
Ellie Ade Kur
Unifor continues its raiding against our union in Toronto. On February 28, 2019 Unifor’s National Office submitted an application to raid our membership at Marriott’s St. Regis Toronto. This is merely the latest development in Unifor’s 14-month raiding effort.
Despite the millions of dollars Unifor has spent, that effort has failed. UNITE HERE Local 75 members have successfully fought off Unifor’s campaign to undermine our local, sending a decisive message at 45 hotels by choosing to remain with our union. Instead of allowing us to focus fully on winning industry-leading contracts and empowering workers across our sector, Unifor continues in their attempt to divide our union. Despite Unifor’s efforts, our negotiating committees continue to secure historic contracts, raising the bar for hospitality workers across the GTA with unprecedented wage increases, health benefits, and protections.
Hotel workers have spoken and Unifor Canada must seriously consider the implications of wasting more workers’ dues to wage this attack on our union. As GM threatens thousands of jobs in Oshawa and Ontario’s provincial government attacks workers’ rights, our labour movement is at a critical juncture. Unions everywhere must work together to fight corporate greed and austerity measures, not waste resources attacking other unions. We stand in solidarity with the rank and file members of Unifor mobilizing against General Motors’ corporate greed in Oshawa. Unifor’s leadership must prioritize these workers instead of sending Unifor staff to raid our union.
UNITE HERE Local 75 members have won significant improvements in the last year as part of the strongest hotel workers union in North America. Last year alone UNITE HERE took on Marriott, the largest hotel company in the world, and won historic contracts through strikes at 23 hotels. We believe that our labour movement is strongest when unions stand united in building the power of working people. We insist that Unifor end the raids and recommit to our shared struggle. It’s time for all unions to work together as we build a better future for workers in the Toronto region and beyond.
Increases Include Dental And Prescription Drug Coverage for Part-time Dependents
This month the joint union-management Board of Trustees of the UNITE HERE Health and Welfare Plan secured significant increases to health coverage for all members. These gains include an increase in dependent life insurance coverage to $5,000 for spouses and $2,500 per child for all members as well as dental and prescription drug benefits for the dependents of part-time workers.
“We are very proud of the gains we’ve won for part-time staff,” said Ian Robb, a Union Trustee of the joint union-management Board of Trustees of the UNITE HERE Local 75 Health and Welfare Plan. “These additions are a victory for workers and allow us to extend the comprehensive benefits coverage Local 75 has for full-time workers to part-time workers and their families.”
“These new protections will allow me to better support my family,” said Karen Salontoy who works at the Adelaide Hotel. “I can rest easy knowing that we won’t ever need to choose between handling a medical emergency and other living expenses. I am proud of my union for securing a win that ensures my children are able to access coverage for prescription drugs and dental care.”
Existing benefits for UNITE HERE Local 75 members include 100% dental coverage and 95% coverage of prescription drugs up to $5,000 annually for part-time staff. These added benefits provide peace of mind for members and their families.
The benefit improvements are a victory for UNITE HERE Local 75 members and come at a time when the union is fighting to set a new standard for workers in the hospitality sector. This new standard, recently won by workers at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and Holiday Inn Downtown, includes significant wage increases, increased contributions to workers’ pension and health and welfare funds, and reduced workload.
“As life in Ontario gets more expensive, Local 75 is breaking barriers by fighting for a new standard across the sector,” said Kattia Delgado, who works as a Room Attendant at the Fairmont Royal York. “For the union to bring the same kinds of protections to part-time workers and their families sends a clear message that in our struggle for better working conditions no one gets left behind.”
UNITE HERE Local 75 represents nearly 8,000 hospitality workers across the GTA. UNITE HERE’s diverse membership includes many recent immigrants and people of colour as well as a high proportion of women in the sector.
For further information:
Shelli Sareen, (647) 990-2863