Happy Labo(u)r Day!

And just in time for this day, a little good news from the working front of Toronto, courtesy of LabourStart’s newsletter:

Striking hotel workers in Toronto have won a huge victory, due in large part to the solidarity they were shown by fellow workers.

The bitter 13 week long strike at the Toronto Plaza Hotel ended this weekend as 80% of the workers voted to ratify a new agreement with the company.

According to their union, the United Steelworkers, the new agreement “removes all the draconian concessions demanded by hotel management and even provides a wage increase. Also removed from the final settlement was management’s insistence on new language that would have gutted basic protections and rights of union workers.” (Full details are here.)

According to a union staff representative, “Our members stood strong and their spirits were uplifted by the support they received from the labour movement, Toronto area steelworkers and the public throughout the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] and across Canada”.

At the request of their union, LabourStart launched an online campaign at the end of July targeting our Canadian supporters that generated 1,540 messages of protest.

According to a senior United Steelworkers official, “LabourStart played a key role in this victory.”

Linkage as in the e-newsletter.

The message from this is clear: Organizing, protesting and strikes WORK. And the benefits trickle down to non-unionized workers, too. The eight-hour day, the forty-hour week, and many more rights that are currently in danger of being wiped out? Thank a unionist for those. This isn’t just about one day a year off, it’s about fairness and rights EVERY day. And unless we all fight to keep them, they will be taken away…little by little, until nothing is left.

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