Toronto - Hotel Workers And OCAP Put Boss On Notice.

On Wednesday December 3, 2003, a large delegation from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and Punching Out (NEFAC-Toronto) delivered a letter on behalf of two hotel workers who were harassed by management until they quit their jobs under duress. The letters were delivered to Mr. Wu's personal secretary, and copies were handed out to patrons in the hotel dining room. Meanwhile, a group of rank and file hotel workers picketed outside of the hotel. The letter is reproduced below.

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December 3, 2003

Henry Wu,
Metropolitan Hotel,
Toronto, Ontario
Delivered by Public Delegation

Dear Mr. Wu:

We have delivered this letter to you to-day by way of a mass delegation to the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto. We are bringing to your urgent attention the situation of two people driven from employment at this establishment.

Ms. Anita Bautista, learned that she had tragically contracted cancer. After this was brought to the attention of your managers, a process that we can only described as 'constructive dismissal' was set in motion. In a very short period, three disciplinary letters were issued against her on dubious grounds. When this pressure did not produce the desired results, Ms. Bautista was summoned to the management office. She was presented with a document terminating her fourteen years employment in return for fourteen weeks severance pay. She was offered no chance to seek legal advice and denied even the opportunity to consult with fellow employees. Under this extreme duress, she reluctantly signed the document. This process was monstrously unfair and we demand this woman employment be immediately restored.

Mr. Shahid Mehmood Shahid is another person driven out of his job at the Metropolitan. He is a devout Moslem whose religious devotions were found troubling to some ill chosen representatives of yours. He began to be accused of improper conduct and the harassment reached a level where, in a state of extreme emotional upset, he was forced to offer his resignation. He must get his job back and be able to perform his duties under conditions that he has a right to expect.

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Mr. Wu, the Metropolitan is a prestigious hotel that I would presume does not wish to be regarded as an abusive employer. I understand that you are a wealthy man with extensive and far-flung business operations. Doubtless you delegate authority in matters of 'hiring and firing' at your hotels. I accept that you were likely not aware of the circumstances of the two people that we are now bringing to your attention. As of to-day, however, there is no longer any question of 'plausible denial'. You must now take full personal responsibility for this situation and we want you to know that we shall continue to take such public action as may be necessary to win justice for Ms. Bautista and Mr. Shahid.

We are prepared to meet with you or your mandated representative should you consider this necessary but please be assured that this shameful episode will be fully exposed and vigorously challenged until the serious grievances involved are settled.

Yours truly,

John Clarke, Organizer,
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty