"This may not be your choice environment," union advises Marriott guests
unwittingly exposed to U.S. firm's private security agents and
TORONTO, Oct. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Patrons at a Toronto-area Marriott hotel
are being advised to consider privacy and ethical questions raised by
their exposure to a heavy presence of security agents and
strikebreakers on the property.
"This may not be your choice environment and you may want to reconsider
your stay at Marriott," guests at the Courtyard by Marriott, on
Interchange Way in Vaughan, are advised in a leaflet distributed by the
United Steelworkers (USW).
The leaflet enlightens Marriott guests who may be questioning the
unusual presence of uniformed security agents and vans with blacked-out
windows transporting people to and from the hotel.
The Marriott is currently housing dozens of AFIMAC (formerly AFI
International Group Inc.) security agents and strikebreakers hired by
Crown Holdings, a U.S.-based multinational that operates a factory off
Weston Road in Toronto.
Crown Holdings is one of the world's largest manufacturers of food and
beverage containers. Crown provoked a strike at its Toronto plant in
September when it demanded concessions from employees despite recently
giving them an award for exceptional profitability and productivity.
Instead of negotiating a fair deal with its employees, Crown is now
trying to break the strike.
Crown's striking employees, members of the Steelworkers union, set up an
information picket outside the hotel yesterday.
Tony DePaulo, Assistant to the USW District 6 Director, also delivered a
letter to hotel management, asking it to reconsider whether it wants
the hotel to be used as a base by strikebreaking American corporations
and security agents that are attacking the livelihoods of Toronto
The leaflets distributed to Marriott guests state, in part: "You may
notice a heavy presence of uniformed persons who appear as police. But
that is not the case. They are from AFI, 'North America's largest
supplier of labour dispute private security' - similar to the so-called
'Pinkertons' hired to break worker protests and strikes … Don't be
surprised if they take pictures or video of innocent people. They also
have recording devices, often concealed. This may be an invasion of
your privacy, and the information could be taken to the United States."
Crown Holdings nearly doubled its profits last year. Crown's CEO was
given a $12-million compensation package.
Despite its financial success, Crown has continued to attack workers and
their unions. In Toronto, the company is demanding that new and
younger workers be placed on a permanent lower-wage scale, which would
effectively drive down the living and working standards of all future
USW members at Crown are standing up for the next generation of workers
and have garnered widespread support around the world in their
Take-Backs No More campaign to stop Crown's attacks throughout its
For more information, visit www.usw.ca/crownholdings.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Tony DePaulo, Assistant to the USW District 6 Director, (416) 243-8792 (office), (905) 869-0760 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Eshelman, USW Strategic Campaigns, (416) 544-5968, email@example.com
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org