TORONTO — Former workers of a Richtree restaurant in Toronto are rejoicing after a labour board found the company violated a labour law last January when laying them off, reports The Star.
Fifty unionized workers represented by Unite Here Local 75 were let go last year after Richtree closed its market-style restaurant and opened a new unit at Toronto’s Eaton Centre food court.
According to The Star, the result of the labour board hearing found the company was still bound by its collective agreement with Unite Here Local 75. “What this means is that employers can’t simply close operations for renovations and apply for a new street address and throw out the union,” David Sanders, organizing director for Local 75, told the newspaper.
A statement from Richtree rejected a claim that its new employees were hired at a lower wage. “To the contrary, we have hired over 200 local Toronto job seekers at extremely competitive rates. A majority of the jobs for which we have hired are very different than those in our previous location,” the statement says.
While the implications of the ruling are not yet realized, Sanders said the union hopes to negotiate with Richtree to determine whether fired employees could return to work. [thestar.com]