Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ottawa: Congress Centre USW on Strike

The United Steelworkers who work at the Ottawa Congress Centre are on strike. They include the bartenders, servers, housekeeping, maintenance, kitchen and set-up staff. There are three major issues that they are striking for include tips, wages and, replacement workers. The workers at the Congress Centre do not get full tips 32% is taken away from them and they wish that like most places they should have full access to their own tips. They also believe their wages are too low and one member noted that other workers in the Congress Centre have rising high wages, but theirs is barely considered a living wage. The Centre has also threatened to bring in replacement workers to take their jobs. One major thing that anyone may notice is the disproportion of members of minorities and new immigrants.

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7 Comments:

Blogger DJN said...

The CUPE Ontario convention is supposed to happen at the Congress Centre in late May. I guess if they're still on strike it won't be happening there.

Do you know if they're picketing? I think it might be worthwhile to organize a group of people to go down there and provide some support. What do you think?

5:16 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Yes they were picketing today. Thats how I found out about it. Support protests I'm not sure as its right in exam period, but could always try. I'm sure Under Pressure though would probably go in solidarity.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous occworker said...

i work at the ottawa congress centre and saw your post so i figured i'd explain in a bit more detail what we're looking for.

basically it comes down to money, though it is grats as well. i know this may sound greedy, but as it stands right now we are the lowest paid in our profession in comparison to similar convention centres. our strike's goal is to have parity with the other centres, plain and simple, and this is what the negotiating team for the occ refuses to give.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I don't think its greedy. People have the right to fight for good wages. The bulk of money should be going to workers. Thanks for your addition.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's not greedy to wish for a base salary that is comparable to others in the industry. Understanding that tips are added onto the base salary for some departments in this industry; I still find it hard to believe that the center thinks it's offer is "fair". Honestly, how can you say that when you aren't even paying a base salary of minimum wage. MINIMUM WAGE... Isn't that required by law in Ontario? I think all you strikers deserve a huge standing ovation for bringing to light the poor management practices of the Ottawa Congress Center and helping the public to learn what the government recently discovered during a performance audit and I quote: "CBC News
The Ontario government is pulling its money out of the Ottawa Congress Centre expansion project, saying it is frustrated with delays and management problems.".
Shame on management who would approach the line only to threaten strikers with retaliation in the workplace once they return.

Hang in there brothers and sisters, you have more support than you know. (no nibbling from the buffet now DAAAVE)

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, another thing.
David Hamilton needs to step aside before he embarrasses himself further... and again I quote CBC:
"These employees largely belong to classifications that stood to gain the most from the employer's last offer," Hamilton said in a press release.

That offer came after the vote in question. (but of course when you spread lies you usually know what you are doing right?)

in another quote Ottawa Citizen:
"Mr. Hamilton said the Congress Center gave its "fourth and final offer" to the union last Thursday, but has not had a response."

(I don't think there ever was 4 official offers but anyway...) If the fourth offer is about .50 cents an hour for 3 years in a row what was the first 3 offers? Must be less than inflation!!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Blackjack Books said...

Good question

10:36 AM  

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