Members of UNITE HERE local 75 picket the Toronto Hilton on Richmond Street W - Friday September 17th.
By Alex Balch
Toronto, Ont - This year’s TIFF festivities may be over, but for the workers of UNITE HERE Local 75, the struggle against multinational hotel conglomerate Westmont Hospitality Group is just heating up.
Many of the over 2,000 members of Local 75 employed by Westmont are currently working without a contract – some of them since February of this year. Workers accuse the company, which owns or operates 13 hotels in the GTA, of trying to lock its employees into a “permanent recession” - despite the fact that the hotel industry has largely bounced back from the economic crisis of 2008.
“The recession is long over for these guys,” says union organizer Amarjeet Chhabra, speaking about the hotel management. “Yet they’re still using the language of the recession while they negotiate a new contract.”
Protesters denounce patriarchy in Hamilton courtroom - August 26, 2010
Hamilton, Ont. - On Thursday August 26, The Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton and Area (SACHA) organized a protest outside the Hamilton Court House after a rape trial was stopped and the accused was set free. A lively crowd of around 40 people, including local unions CUPE 3906 and USW 1005, members of the Immigrant Women’s Centre and of the Hamilton Coalition Against the G20, denounced the actions of Justice Kim Carpenter-Gunn and defense attorney, Peter Boushy and demanded that the legal system stop blaming survivors of sexual assault.
According to the Hamilton Spectator article that broke the story, the trial was stayed after the defense attorney questioned the credibility of the alleged victim because she had made new allegations against another man. According to Boushy, this “raised the spectre of fabrication.”
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Carrying a banner reading "These faggots kill fascists" anti-fascists send a different message in front of homophobic signs held by bigots at the London, Ontario pride parade on July 25, 2010. Photo: Toban Black
By Alex Balch
London, Ont. - On Sunday July 25, fifty anti-fascist activists from southern Ontario joined hundreds of Londoners to show their support for the London Pride Parade. By all accounts, the day was a great success; the weather was excellent, the floats were fun and creative, the atmosphere was great – and the fascists were nowhere to be seen.
Work Action and Community Rally Planned for June 24th
by Kevin O'Toole
Toronto Media Coop
TORONTO - The International Union of Food and Allied Workers (IUF) is planning a global day of action on June 24th in defense of workers’ right to organize unions, the Toronto Media Co-op has learned.
The union is targeting Paris-based Accor, one of the largest hotel companies in the world. In Toronto, workers with UNITE HERE Local 75 (UH 75) are planning a one-day strike action at the Novotel Hotel at 45 The Esplanade, one of several brands of hotels owned and operated by Accor. IUF and UH 75 say that Accor is violating its commitment with IUF “not to oppose efforts to unionize its employees.”
By Scott Neigh
Northern Ontario Correspondent
SUDBURY - March 4 to 11, 2010, marked the first ever Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) at Laurentian University in Sudbury, a small city in Ontario's near north.
According to Marwa Dimassi of the Palestine Solidarity Working Group (PSWG), which organized the event locally, they wanted, "To educate people about what Israeli Apartheid Week is and to get a mobilization for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns."
Six women activists, shortly after staging a sit-in against cuts to aboriginal healing and then being arrested, charged and released, March 29. PHOTO: Greg Macdougall
by Greg Macdougall
Ottawa - On Monday March 29 - two days before the federal government's funding cuts to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) take effect - six women from Montreal staged a sit-in outside of Indian and Northern Affairs minister Chuck Strahl's office in Ottawa.
“By cutting the funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and having us arrested for protesting these cuts, Harper is denying effective services to thousands of residential school survivors,” said Maya Rolbin-Ghanie, a member of the Montreal-based grassroots group Missing Justice who was arrested in the protest.
They pledged to remain there until a decision was made to restore funding to the AHF, but police arrested and removed them within an hour, charging them with trespassing.
Gaetan Heroux holds up a copy of the program of the unemployed council movement of 1933 as he addresses a meeting of poor people on Friday, March 26. PHOTO: Mick Sweetman
By Mick Sweetman
Toronto — Over 75 poor and working people held a rowdy public meeting Friday evening at St. Luke's church at Sherbourne and Carlton. The meeting followed the Ontario budget announcement that cut the Special Diet supplement for people on social assistance.
A.J. Withers from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) kicked the night off by calling for an immediate 40 per cent increase to social assistance. Withers said, “Right now a single person on welfare gets a shamefully low $364 a month for rent. A person on ODSP gets $464 for rent. Yet for a one-bedroom in this city, the average price is $927 a month. No matter how you do the math, social assistance rates never add up.”
The rally covered all four corners of Main and James streets. Workers from U.S. Steel (formerly Stelco) handed out flyers as they have done every Monday afternoon for the past year. The flyer attacked "the monopolies and the rich" for the economic crisis and called for "public ownership and control over the basic sectors of the economy."
By Mick Sweetman
TORONTO — At a streetcar stop at Queen and Bay streets Saturday about 50 anti-poverty activists boarded a westbound streetcar after showing the driver protest “transfers” made by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) in what they called a “pilot program” for fighting the fare hike.
Driver and passengers seemed in good spirits as protesters chanted “Hey, Hey, TTC! Public transit should be free!” Protestors distributed OCAP “transfers” to passengers and hung a banner out the window reading “Fair rates not fare hikes” as the streetcar headed toward Spadina Avenue.
The rolling protest was against the TTC increasing fares to $3 starting on Jan. 3. The price hike is 25 cents a trip and an increase of over 10% for a monthly pass. Advocates of poor and working people say transit costs are already too high. The fare hike comes at a time of economic recession and job losses, growing poverty, and dangerously low social assistance rates.