Hundreds expected to rally Wednesday to protest violence against striking Aramark workers in Markham

    Community activists from across Ontario heading to Markham's Seneca
    College Campus to demand an end to violence against striking workers
    which has led to Police charges

    TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ -

    WHAT:     Community and labour activists from across Ontario rally at
              Seneca College's Markham campus, calling for an end to violence
              against striking Aramark workers on campus. York Region police
              have been called to the picket line after numerous incidents of
              striking workers and their supporters being struck by cars on
              the legal picket line. Charges have been laid and police are
              still investigating a number of incidents.

    WHO:      President, Canadian Labour Congress, Ken Georgetti
              UNITE HERE Canadian Co-Director, Alex Dagg
              Ontario Federation of Labour Vice-President, Terry Downey
              Andy Chiu, Aramark Worker at Seneca's Markham Campus, struck by
              a car on the picket line
              President, UNITE HERE Local 100, Bill Granfield

    WHERE:    Outside Seneca's Markham Campus, 10 Allstate Parkway
              (Hwy 7 & 404), Markham, ON

    WHEN:     Wednesday, March 19th, 4:00 pm

    BACKGROUND: Foodservice workers and cleaning staff at Seneca's Markham
campus, employed by the multi-national Aramark and members of UNITE HERE, set
up picket lines on Monday, March 10th, just north of Toronto, striking for a
fair first contract.
    Aramark workers at Seneca's Markham campus have been asking the
foodservice giant to address low wages and benefits as well as consistent
problems with abusive behaviour by supervisors. However, at the last
bargaining session, 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. At
the end of this month, Ontario will raise its minimum wage by 75 cents an
    UNITE HERE had to repeatedly call York Region Police to their picket line
last week after striking workers and their supporters were hit by cars. In one
incident, a man jumped from his still moving car after hitting a man on the
picket line and threatened the striking workers. Police have laid charges in a
number of incidents, including one for dangerous driving.
    Recently, hundreds braved February winds and cold to rally outside the
University of Toronto, demanding better for Aramark workers who serve
thousands of college and university students across Ontario. Aramark, based in
Philadelphia, recorded $12.4 billion in sales in 2007 and employs 245,000
employees worldwide, 15,000 of them here in Canada. It serves meals to
students at high schools, university and colleges as well as workers in
factories and law firms. It also provides laundry and cleaning services.

For further information:

For further information: Wynne Hartviksen, at (416) 510-0887, ext No.
265, or via cell at (416) 473-2632

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