TORONTO — Unifor has partnered with the Hospitality Workers Training Centre to support laid off workers in hospitality and foodservice across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“Hotel and foodservice workers are among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” says Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “That’s why our union acted immediately to ensure workers could access vital services from the centre for job training, food-and-housing security and mental-health supports.”

Founded during the SARS pandemic in 2003, the centre currently provides immediate one-on-one supports for all workers in the sector, including job training. Its training kitchen will also provide 18,000 meals to people across the GTA this month.

In addition to partnering with the centre, Unifor continues to pressure the federal and provincial governments and employers to adequately protect workers from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As hospitality and foodservice workers face job losses, Unifor continues to pursue greater enhancements to the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB), health benefits for those without coverage and is pressuring governments and employers to increase participation in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program. The union is also working to ensure that all workers have access to adequate personal-protective equipment and safe workloads, public services, including transit and childcare, and sufficient health-and-safety measures are in place as workplaces reopen.

“Workers in hotels and restaurants are among some of the most-vulnerable individuals in our community and will need significant help navigating the current crisis and what may be a lengthy recovery,” says Lis Pimentel, Unifor organizer and Chair of the Board of the Hospitality Workers Training Centre. “The centre is an integral part of a robust community COVID-19 response that provides fundamental services to workers facing the pandemic’s economic hardships.”

Hospitality and foodservice workers across the GTA can access the Hospitality Workers Training Centre’s Rapid Response here.


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