Food In Canada

Training centre and union team up to support laid-off food service workers

By Food in Canada   

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May 26, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – Unifor is partnering with the Hospitality Workers Training Centre to support laid-off workers in the food service and hospitality industries across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“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,” said Lis Pimentel, Unifor organizer and chair of the board of the 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.”

“Hotel and food service workers are among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said 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 training centre currently provides immediate one-on-one supports for all workers in the sector, including job training. The centre’s training kitchen will also provide 18,000 meals to people across the GTA this month.


Unifor, meanwhile, 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 food services workers face job losses, Unifor also continues to pursue greater enhancements to the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit, health benefits for those without coverage, and is pressuring governments and employers to increase participation in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including more than 20,000 hospitality, gaming, and food service workers.

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