Demands Courtyard Marriott in Niagara Falls bargain with recently
organized hotel workers and calls on rival union UNITE HERE to stop
interfering with workers' right to unionize.
NIAGARA FALLS, ON, June 3 /CNW/ - Well known actor and labour activist
Danny Glover returned to Niagara Falls today to support recently organized
hotel workers at the Courtyard Marriott and their union, Workers United. At
the explicit encouragement of UNITE HERE, which is involved in a vicious
inter-union war with Workers United, the Courtyard Marriott Niagara has
refused to negotiate a first collective agreement.
"Workers at the Courtyard Marriott organized their union last year to
make things better at work," said Glover, "and it is deeply regrettable that
another union is providing this hotel with an excuse to not bargain better
working conditions. These workers stood up to organize their union and we'll
stand with them and their union, Workers United, until this employer sits down
to bargain a fair, first contract."
Workers United Ontario Council, including Niagara Local 2347, voted to
end their affiliation with UNITE HERE in March, 2009. Despite a signed
agreement to split the union in Ontario, UNITE HERE recently launched a
vicious campaign of attack against Workers United, instructing employers,
including the Courtyard Marriott Niagara to not recognize the union.
"It is outrageous that another union is telling hotel owners to not
negotiate with hotel workers," said Alex Dagg, Canadian Director of Workers
United. "The Workers United Ontario Council and Niagara's Local 2347 will
stand with the Courtyard Marriott workers. We have worked with them since they
started organizing and we won't let their employer or another union, stand in
the way of their right to a union and a first contract."
The failure of the 2004 UNITE HERE merger has resulted in an acrimonious,
internal union "civil war" that threatens to consume the American labour
movement. Just last week, newspapers across the U.S. reported that the
International President of UNITE HERE and renowned textile workers' organizer,
Bruce Raynor, had resigned the presidency of the union and would join Workers
"We had great hopes when UNITE and HERE merged five years ago," said
Raynor who this week was elected International President of Workers United.
"It is disgusting that those who remain at UNITE HERE are choosing to expand
this conflict into Canada and are holding the workers at the Courtyard
Marriott hostage in this conflict. This is the kind of behaviour that
destroyed the merger in the first place."
Workers United Ontario Council represents almost 9,000 workers in apparel
and textile manufacturing, foodservice and hotels, distribution, general
manufacturing and social services. It is made up of all the former members of
UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) as well as
1000 former members of HERE (Hotel Employees, Restaurant Employees), including
all former members in the Niagara region, who voted unanimously to join
Workers United when the UNITE HERE merger failed. The Courtyard Marriott Hotel
in Niagara Falls is owned by the Menechella family's Niagara 21st Group.
For further information:
For further information: Wynne Hartviksen, (416) 473-2632 or Ethan
Clarke, (905) 358-2347