TORONTO, AJAX and PETERBOROUGH, ON, April 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Personal Trainers at GoodLife Fitness, Canada's largest fitness chain, are launching a public campaign "Respect Fitness Workers" to demand that GoodLife provide paid sick days and put an end to unpaid work.
Trainers in Toronto, Ajax and Peterborough made history in 2016 by forming the first fitness professionals' union in North America. They have been negotiating with GoodLife since October 2016, however GoodLife has not moved on the critical issues of paid sick leave and unpaid work. Now, as GoodLife celebrates its 38th anniversary, trainers are going public and joining forces with their clients to call on GoodLife to address trainers' concerns.
"It horrifies me that trainers do not have paid sick days. A company as large and successful as GoodLife should invest in the health and wellbeing of its employees. I would not have been able to survive my own health ordeal without paid sick days or a medical leave of absence. When trainers fall ill, they are compelled to work in a weakened state, endangering themselves and their clients," says Maureen McDonnell, who has had a GoodLife Personal Trainer for 4 years.
"Newer trainers are often only training clients 3-4 hours a day and yet spend 10-14 hours at the gym. Their number one concern is how much time they spend at the gym working, prospecting, or just "being available" as required by their managers," says trainer Eris Collins.
"As a veteran trainer, I spend about 12 hours each month preparing client meal plans, researching appropriate training for clients with injuries or physical limitations, scheduling and communicating with clients outside of their training time and doing the paperwork that is required of me. This work benefits both GoodLife and my clients, but I'm not paid for any of it."
GoodLife has been criticized by the Ministry of Labour for violating the Employment Standards Act. The Toronto Star has reported on violations including excess hours of work and overtime pay violations. And GoodLife trainers across the country are involved in a Class Action Lawsuit that also touches on these issues.
This public campaign brings together GoodLife trainers and their clients in demanding a safe and healthy workplace and respect and fair compensation for all the work that trainers do.
SOURCE Workers United Canada Council
For further information: Adrie Naylor, Union Representative, 416-951-8509 or [email protected]; www.workersunitedunion.ca/goodlife; www.fitnessprofessionalsunion.com; #RespectFitnessWorkers