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Taking action for hotel workers

12/17/2020

Dear Unifor hospitality locals,

Canada’s hospitality sector continues to struggle and hotel workers across Canada are being left behind, experiencing much of the worst economic, health, and workplace effects of the government’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Since the start of the pandemic, Unifor has been advocating on behalf of its members to protect the lives, livelihoods and well-being of all workers across the country. Unifor continues to fight for our hospitality members and has called for a comprehensive recovery package for the sector outlined in a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

News from the federal government

Unifor has been active since the start of the pandemic in pressuring federal, provincial, and municipal governments to respond to our union’s concerns with the pandemic’s economic fallout and take urgent action to support our members. We are pleased to report that in the government’s fall economic update, some key recommendations were announced on Monday, November 30. The federal government will return the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program back to a 75% subsidy and will provide direct financial supports for employers in hard-hit sectors like hospitality. Although we were very pleased to see that many of our recommendations made their way into the economic statement, there’s still a lot more work to do—including making sure financial supports for our employers require employment commitments in return.

Emergency drug coverage and Pharmacare

Our number one focus continues to be the creation of an emergency drug coverage program to address the drug coverage crisis. Although Unifor has long supported the creation of a National Pharmacare Program, most recently outlined in a joint letter Canada’s largest labour unions sent on November 24, we know some members may lose access to potentially life-saving drugs before such a program sees the light of day.

That’s why we’re asking you to take the time to send a message to your Member of Parliament and provincial representative echoing our union’s message to Justin Trudeau: We need an emergency drug coverage program now before it’s too late.

Please visit this website and send a message now before it’s too late.

The federal and provincial governments must work together immediately to ensure that workers don’t lose access to prescription drug coverage now. We know that when Canadians lose access to regular healthcare, including prescriptions drugs, medical treatment becomes much more costly to the system. This situation is completely unacceptable. With so many hotel workers experiencing a loss of income due to decreased hours and gratuities, it is inconceivable to allow workers to lose prescription drug coverage during a pandemic.

Building Back Better Together

Your union is hard at work on promoting a broader recovery strategy for Canada called Build Back Better. When it comes to COVID-19, we know the hospitality sector was hit first, hit hardest, and will likely be one of the last sectors to fully recover. Our Build Back Better strategy will help ensure that Canada’s recovery is comprehensive and leaves no one behind. That means fighting for workers in all sectors and it starts by winning a $15 minimum wage. Unifor has a petition you can sign right now to make that happen. Your union leadership has also championed a $7 billion aviation sector recovery package that is essential to a recovery for Canada’s hospitality industry and all hotel workers.

We’re making real progress in virtually every sector of the economy. Most recently, our union successfully negotiated nearly $5 billion for auto workers across the country and most notably returned vehicle assembly to Oshawa. This success is beyond what most thought possible. It is no exaggeration to say that our union’s leadership team is the hardest working and has the best record fighting for every Unifor member from the bargaining table to Parliament Hill. But the fact is that the size, strength and solidarity of our membership as the country’s largest private sector union is what makes us impossible to ignore. You are part of that union.

Please take the time to add your name to our petition to make sure an emergency drug coverage plan is funded and implemented before it’s too late.

 

In solidarity,

Jerry Dias

National President
Président national

T: 416-495-6555 | Toll free/sans frais: 1.800.268.5763 ext.6555
Fax/Téléc: 416.495.3778 
205 Placer Court, Toronto, ON, M2H 3H9 

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