About THEU

The Toronto Hospitality Employees Union was born out of the need to create a strong union controlled entirely by us, the hospitality workers of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

A five-star union all for us

In the past, we tried to build a strong member-driven union for hotel and hospitality workers in Toronto under the umbrella of both US-based unions as well as other Canadian unions. After many attempts, we decided that the time was right to create our own autonomous union based right here in Toronto, focused on our own specific needs, hopes, and dreams, and run completely by ourselves – hospitality workers.

Our union constitution and founding documents reflect these aims. Unlike how many other trade unions are structured, in the THEU, members are at the centre of the decision-making process and everything we do flows from the decisions made by the membership. Our structures are both democratic and transparent. And our autonomy is guaranteed.

OUR MISSION

The highest standards, democracy, and welcoming all hospitality workers into the union

Our mission, as a Toronto-based union, is to protect and improve conditions for all hotel and hospitality workers in the Greater Toronto Area, both in the workplace and in our communities. Many of us have worked for years as members of different unions to raise the standards and working conditions for hospitality workers, but we now see that those standards are under attack.

We have seen a sharp decline in union presence in our sector as more and more hospitality workers find themselves working without a union. These non-union workplaces are leading the charge to lower standards for all hospitality workers. We need to respond. We want to send a strong message to hospitality management across the GTA: “This may seem like a game to you, but to us, it is about providing for our families and protecting ourselves at work.” We need to think outside of the box. Join us and get ready to change things for the better.

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Our Team and Vision:
Democracy and Participation

The THEU was founded on the principles that a strong union must be democratic and that the source of strength for a union is the participation of the members themselves.

Democracy

As long-time leaders in the hotel and hospitality sector across Toronto, many of us have learned the hard way how important it is that our union be democratic in all of its decision-making. Our constitution guarantees that all leadership positions – including workplace shop stewards, workplace union bargaining committees for negotiations, union executive board members, and all union officers, are elected directly by the membership in an open, transparent, and regularly-scheduled process. These democratic practices are among our core values.

Participation: “Be ‘The U’!”

A union is only really strong if its members participate. Many trade unions today limit member participation to being delegates to the occasional union conference and to workplace shop stewards – often appointed by union officials rather than elected. Because workers often have no say over who is representing them, many come to feel that the union is some kind of outside organization.

In the THEU – or ‘The U’ – we have a saying: “Be the U!” That is because we believe that the union is not something outside of us but it is ours and we make it what it is every day through our participation. To make this a reality, we are committed to working hard to build a broad membership network, open to all, in order to make it as accessible as possible for all of our members to fully participate in every aspect of the union and its goal of representing and improving the lives of hospitality workers both in our communities and workplaces. We provide concrete training to all those who want to work to make sure that their co-workers are informed and active in the union.

 

Sign up for your benefits!

Everyone qualifies whether or not you’ve had a shift since 2020. As long as you’re still an employee at the Royal York you qualify for benefits on day 1 when we switch, regardless of how many hours you’ve worked.

  • Choose your own dentist!
  • Drug card to use across Canada!
  • Direct deposit of reimbursements!
  • Mobile app to quickly submit claims!

Please send the completed form to info@theucsn.ca or give it to your THEU-CSN committee person.

About the CSN

While the THEU is autonomous, that does not mean that we are alone.

The THEU is affiliated with the CSN. CSN is the acronym for the Confédération des syndicats nationaux – one of the largest trade union federations in Canada with more than 320,000 members. The word “confederation” is very important because it is at the center of what the CSN offers its member unions, including the THEU. We are autonomous. But we also work together and support one another. Each of the more than 1600 member unions has full control over their own legal rights, bargaining priorities, finances, and more. At the same time, as members of the confederation, we are all able to access a wide range of services and supports to help us achieve the goals decided upon by our members. It truly is the best of both worlds – local autonomy for hotel and hospitality workers in Toronto backed up by the power that comes from a democratic organization with hundreds of thousands of members.

Why choose the THEU–CSN?

Hotel workers in Toronto and across the GTA need a union that puts us first. That has never been clearer than during the last two years of the pandemic. That’s why hotel workers have now partnered with the CSN to form the Toronto Hospitality Employees Union, the THEU-CSN.

THEU is a workers’ union. A union where people decide for themselves.

A union in which Toronto hospitality workers get to make decisions about things that affect them

A union committed to improving the standards and working conditions for hotel and hospitality workers

A union that respects and reflects the diversity of Toronto and the GTA and that brings everyone together to achieve our common goals

About the CSN

While the THEU is autonomous, that does not mean that we are alone.

The THEU is affiliated with the CSN. CSN is the acronym for the Confédération des syndicats nationaux – one of the largest trade union federations in Canada with more than 320,000 members. The word “confederation” is very important because it is at the center of what the CSN offers its member unions, including the THEU. We are autonomous. But we also work together and support one another. Each of the more than 1600 member unions has full control over their own legal rights, bargaining priorities, finances, and more. At the same time, as members of the confederation, we are all able to access a wide range of services and supports to help us achieve the goals decided upon by our members. It truly is the best of both worlds – local autonomy for hotel and hospitality workers in Toronto backed up by the power that comes from a democratic organization with hundreds of thousands of members.

What is the CSN? What does it offer to its member unions?

The CSN is a century-old organization made up of nearly 1600 unions. The CSN provides a wide range of services and supports to the more than 320,000 workers across Canada who belong.

The Toronto Hospitality Employees Union (THEU-CSN) provides its membership with enhanced services.

Our agreement with the CSN gives us access to unparalleled services, all included with our union dues.

THESE SERVICES INCLUDE:

The CSN ensures that an experienced union advisor is assigned to our collective bargaining, the enforcement of the union contract, and the general strengthening of our organization, the THEU–CSN.

With THEU-CSN, we finally have a real opportunity to negotiate our own Collective Agreement, based on our own democratically determined priorities. Every step will be transparent to all the members.

Access to advisors who provide support related to bookkeeping, as well as accountants who help prepare transparent financial statements and verify the financial health of our union. Access as well to professionals available to work directly with our treasurer, if necessary. In CSN unions, the finances of the union are always transparent and available to the members.

Direct access to professional advice and training to meet the needs of our members in the performance of their OH&S functions as well as to facilitate decision-making and union representation.

The CSN Health & Safety Department is a team of more than thirty people who work in three different fields of action: prevention, defense of injured persons, and environmental issues.

Specifically, there are union advisors who specialize in the representation of workers when dealing with workers’ compensation issues (WSIB/ industrial accidents and diseases), industrial engineers, mental health professionals, and ergonomists.

All this helps to make our jobs safer and ensures that our rights are respected and that we are afforded all of the supports that we are entitled to when we are sick or injured.

Access to CSN’s legal department which is the largest union legal department in Canada. It is made up of a team of about 25 lawyers who work only for the CSN and who are dedicated to defending workers’ rights. They plead cases before all courts, in every province, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada. We also collaborate with a law firm that specializes in Ontario Labour Relations and assists us in obtaining, preserving, protecting and enforcing our bargaining rights.

The CSN also provides criminal representation when your employer does not provide the legal assistance you are entitled to in the process of your work.

Access to experienced advisors who provide support during our rounds of bargaining. These advisors partner with our leaders and workplace committees to implement action plans and to encourage broad participation of the members in the affairs of the union. 

A core value for CSN unions, is that workers need the ability to stand up to their employers in order to ensure that we get fair treatment at work. We need our employer to know that when we go to the bargaining table, we’re willing to back it up with hard action to get our demands met. The CSN ensures that we have the support that allows us to do so.

Access to a unique collective tool: the CSN Professional Defense Fund. This fund exists to help and support workers and their CSN union when they face a strike, lockout or are engaged in an organizing drive.

This fund is used to financially assist workers who belong to a union affiliated with the CSN or who are in the process of being organized by the CSN, and who are dismissed or suspended for union activities related to organizing, a strike, a lockout, or engaged in any pressure tactics decided upon by the union.

Access to specialized advisors in communications, public relations and media relations. The advisors’ job is to help raise awareness about our union demands in the media. These advisors are also there to support our internal communications and help us develop our own social media.

Access to union training on various practical subjects for members, such as grievance training, shop stewards’ training, health & safety, mobilization, etc.

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