Hospitality Sector Challenge

Montreal, Quebec

August 26, 1998


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Re-Open CN Contract
Hospitality Sector Challenge
dated August 26, 1998

Hospitality Sector Challenge
Montreal, Quebec
 
The First CAW Hospitality Sector Conference was told there is a need for consolidation and building upon the recent organizing successes of the CAW. Representatives of the 15,000 CAW members in the hospitality sector shared their own experiences, which underlined the need to continue organizing their industry.

John Bowman
National Staff Rep New Westminster
"Workers in the service sector actually need unions more than workers in the traditional sectors do because there is such a wide variety of weapons management can use against you, because of the scheduling and the way hours are scheduled."


Panels during the conference outlined some of the main problems in organizing hospitality sector workers including the problem of lack of confidence among service workers and the need to get public support.

Silvia Simpson
National Staff Rep Vancouver BC
"The value of work in this sector has not been recognized, is not being appreciated, and that of course has a lot to do with a person's self esteem." "The newspapers, the television are bombarding the public with pro-business slogans and pro business propaganda. As a union we have to find ways to overcome that, first of all, because when push comes to shove it isn't just that you sort of organize one particular work place, the work place exists within a community."

A wide variety of issues from health and safety, to work hours, seniority, benefits and pensions, job security and training issues were discussed in depth at various workshops during the conference. While the recent success in organizing a McDonald's in BC has prompted other fast food service workers to inquire about joining the CAW, Bowman says this is just the start.

John Bowman
National Staff Rep New Westminster
"There is no need for us to just be looking at hotels and restaurants. In the retail industry there are also very similar kinds of issues about scheduling of hours and exploitation of young people. The same kind of issues are there and it is only a matter of time, before many of the workers in retail are going to be wanting union representation. I would hope that the CAW will be involved in that representation as well because those are service sector workers."


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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