TIFF host hotel hit by one-day strike

Hyatt Regency, Union Here failed to reach collective agreement

TORONTO -- The host hotel for the Toronto International Film Festival was hit Friday with a one-day strike by unionized workers.

By noon, around 30 hotel workers with local 75 of the Unite Here union were picketing outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel on King Street to back demands for better job security and pension benefits.

The Hyatt Regency will host press conferences and a number of other festival-related event during TIFF's upcoming September 9 to 19 run.

The work stoppage, coming less than one week before TIFF kicks off its 35th edition, occurred after the Unite Here union and Hyatt Regency management failed to secure a new collective agreement before a Thursday midnight deadline.

A union official told the Toronto Star newspaper that around 150 workers aimed to secure a new deal, not disrupt the Toronto festival.

"We don't want to strike during TIFF, unless they lock us out we won't," Unite Here spokeswoman Christal Haycken said.

"It's pretty coincidental in a way," she added.

A TIFF spokeswoman said the festival was in regular contact with the Hyatt Regency management regarding the 24-hour work disruption.

"At this time we do not believe that this will have an impact on the festival," she added.
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