Two drivers charged by York Region Police after similar incidents earlier
TORONTO, March 14 /CNW/ - For the third day this week, York Region Police
were called today to the picket line outside Seneca College's Markham campus
after striking workers were hit by motor vehicles.
An ambulance was also called after Andy Chiu, who is on strike for a fair
first union contract and works for Aramark at Seneca's Markham College on the
overnight cleaning shift, was struck by a vehicle. Chiu, who is fifty years
old, immigrated to Canada two and a half years ago and has worked for Aramark
"What we're fighting for is fair treatment and dignity at work," said
Chiu. "We've worked hard serving food and cleaning this campus for the
students. I can't believe this keeps happening. This is so unacceptable and I
really thought people in Canada knew that."
Chiu, who is a member of the bargaining committee for UNITE HERE at
Seneca's Markham campus, was struck by a pick up truck that approached the
picket line, initially slowing down. However, when close to Chiu, it sped up,
striking his right arm with the hood and then the mirror of the car. The pick
up then drove away, off the campus and back towards Markham's busy Hwy 7.
"I'm really worried someone is going to get seriously injured or even
killed on this picket line," said Alex Dagg, Ontario Director of UNITE HERE.
"We are not going to wait till that happens. This is Ontario. This is a public
institution. This is a legal picket line. It will be respected."
Most of the workers at Markham campus make less than $10 an hour, even
though Aramark workers at other Seneca locations make substantially more. On
the eve of a strike deadline, Aramark responded with a paltry 1.25 % wage
increase or less than 10 cents an hour for most staff. Workers are demanding a
fair and equitable offer.
York Region Police have charged at least two drivers for similar
incidents earlier in the week.
UNITE HERE is organizing a rally for Wednesday, March 19th, at 4 pm at
Seneca's Markham Campus at 10 Allstate Parkway in Markham (Hwy 7 and 404) to
stop the violence on the picket line.
For further information:
For further information: Wynne Hartviksen at (416) 510-0887, ext No. 265
or via cell at (416) 473-2632