TORONTO — The Ontario Federation of Labour has issued an official boycott declaration of Canadian Niagara Hotels Inc. (CNH Inc.).
Effective immediately, the labour organization — which represents 54 unions and one-million workers in Ontario — announced the boycott in support of the workers at the Rainforest Café in Niagara Falls, Ont., who have been seeking a collective agreement with CNH Inc. for more than a year.
“During this boycott, no labour organization will engage in any new business with, or buy products or services from, Canadian Niagara Hotels or its subsidiaries until the company sits down to bargain a fair collective agreement with its workers,” says Chris Buckley, president of Ontario Federation of Labour. “The strength of our movement comes from our solidarity. Together, we’re sending the message that this employer must end its continued mistreatment of workers, anti-union behavior and refusal to bargain in good faith with its unionized employees.”
CNH Inc. owns or operates a number of hotels, restaurants and retail attractions in Niagara Falls, including Hard Rock Café, Casino Niagara, Crowne Plaza Fallsview Hotel, Skyline Hotel & Waterpark Niagara Falls, Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, Clifton Victoria Inn at the Falls and Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa.
Workers at the Rainforest Café, represented by Workers United Canada Council Local 2347, have been on strike since April 7, 2019. One of the key issues at the Rainforest Café, operated by CNH Inc., is the failure of the employer to properly address allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
“This boycott announced today is the direct result of Canadian Niagara Hotel’s lack of respect for the law. In 1987, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the employer must provide a workplace free of sexual harassment,” says Ontario Federation of Labour secretary-treasurer Patty Coates. “It’s time for the Rainforest Café to meet its obligations by stopping sexual harassment in its workplace and bargaining a fair collective agreement with its workers, as the law requires.”
Earlier this year, Canadian Niagara Hotels made headlines for expelling a family of tourists from one of its hotels after they supported the strike. It also issued a lifetime ban from all its properties to the mother of a striking restaurant worker.
“Ontario unions and their members routinely frequent CNH facilities for conferences, conventions, meetings and to attend functions. A boycott is called only in very serious circumstances and must not be taken lightly by CNH. It’s sure to damage the reputations of these hotels within the labour community and result in a substantial financial penalty in lost revenue to Canadian Niagara Hotels. To get its business back on track, CNH must bargain a collective agreement with its employees,” says Buckley.