Justice of the Peace Moira Moses finds purpose of three defendants noble
and their private prosecution by Canadian Niagara Hotels for trespassing
unnecessary to protect the hotel's interests. Refuses to pass on $22,000
private prosecution costs to defendants.
TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - Well-known actor and activist Danny Glover has
been fined $100 by an Ontario Provincial Offences Court Justice of the Peace,
as has UNITE HERE Canadian Co-Director Alex Dagg and Ontario Federation of
Labour President Wayne Samuelson. The trio was convicted last month of
trespassing under a rarely used private prosecution by a Niagara hotel company
for entering the hotel during a union rally in September, 2006.
In sentencing the three, Justice of the Peace, Moira Moses found that the
purpose of the three defendants was noble in trying to get into the hotel to
speak with the owners about serious labour issues. She refused to pass on
Canadian Niagara Hotel's $22,000 costs for the private prosecution to the
three defendants, finding the prosecution was unnecessary to protect the
interests of the hotel's owner, and found the company should have engaged in
more good faith negotiations with the union.
"This sentencing decision really shows how silly Canadian Niagara Hotel's
private prosecution has been," said Dagg. "It is outrageous that even though
our courts are overwhelmed with serious cases and the police refused to charge
us for entering the hotel lobby in 2006, this company has wasted its money and
the court's time and tax dollars on this matter. We are glad the courts
recognized this today and agree with Justice of the Peace Moses that this
company should engage in more good faith negotiations with the union."
Dagg noted the union has received messages of support from across North
America since word of the conviction became public in January and that the
campaign by UNITE HERE to defend the rights of hospitality workers in Niagara
Falls will continue.
"We are very appreciative of the support we've received from Niagara
Falls and indeed, from people across North America, who join us in being
outraged that this company has preferred to purchase a prosecution instead of
dealing with their serious labour issues," said Dagg. "I want to personally
thank Danny Glover for his incredible support and for helping raise awareness
of the difficulties faced by workers at Canadian Niagara Hotel. I agree with
Justice of the Peace Moses that our purpose was noble when we entered the
hotel in September, 2006 and that Canadian Niagara Hotel's prosecution was
unnecessary to protect their interests. It is a shame; they could have paid a
room attendant for almost a year on the money they've wasted on this."
Wayne Samuelson, President of the Ontario Federation, noted the private
prosecution has only served as motivation for the rest of the Ontario labour
movement to become even more involved in the struggle for workers' rights in
"The waste of the courts times by this company's private prosecution is a
serious issue," said Samuelson. "But their rather strange response to Alex,
Danny and I entering their hotel, has drawn attention to the bigger labour
issues down here in Niagara and that is a good thing. Workers, from across
this province, have expressed their support and their desire to become
involved in the struggle for workplace justice in Niagara."
UNITE HERE represents 50,000 hotel, food service, garment and
manufacturing workers across Canada and 450,000 across North America. The
union has been working with activists, like Danny Glover, to raise awareness
of the issues facing hospitality workers across North America
For further information:
For further information: Wynne Hartviksen, (416) 473-2632