May 29, 2013Ottawa, ON. On May 30th, 2013, Novotel workers and union representatives will visit the French Embassy in Ottawa seeking the assistance of the French Ambassador in their conflict with the French-owned Hotel giant, Accor S.A.
This visit comes on the heels of new unfair labour practice charges being filed against Novotel management with the Ontario Labour Relations Board in the last two months. HSTU Local 261 and UNITE HERE Local 75, both local unions of the North American hotel workers' union, UNITE HERE, had high hopes that a settlement agreement that they had reached with Novotel-Accor management at the beginning of this year would finally afford the workers at the Novotel Ottawa and the Novotel North York the opportunity to join the union.
"Unfortunately," said David Sanders, UNITE HERE Organizing Director, "it seems Novotel-Accor management failed to live up to either the spirit or the letter of the settlement agreement that they signed this past January let alone Ontario Law."
Now both parties find themselves before the Ontario Labour Relations Board where the union is alleging that Novotel-Accor management engaged in:
- unlawful threats to job security;
- unlawful surveillance and interrogation of employees;
- unlawful physical inspection of employees against their will;
- threatening employees' job security;
- the unlawful altering of working conditions in order to undermine employee support for unionization;
- and the misrepresentation of the effects of unionizing for the same purpose.
Last year, the Ontario Labour Relations Board granted automatic union certification to the workers at the Novotel Mississauga, just outside of Toronto. The Novotel Toronto Centre workers have been unionized with UNITE HERE for more than a decade.