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From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 30 Jan 2005 08:15:43 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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Solidarity picket at the Metropolitan Hotel in Vancouver: Sunday January 30th
12 noon Meet at the Georgia St. Side of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Following an urgent appeal from the Metropolitan Hotels Workers Committee
(MHWC) for solidarity across Canada and internationally, Fire This Time
and Youth Third World Alliance invite you to join a solidarity picket of
the Metropolitan Hotel in Vancouver against the firing of Emily Tang from
the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto. This action will be timed alongside a
picket in Toronto and with other actions throughout the US and beyond.
Solidarity greetings will be exchanged with picketers in Toronto.

The MHWC formed amongst the workers at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto
in January 2004 in response to the discrimination, abuse and unsafe
conditions that the mostly immigrant workers at the hotel suffered. After
consistent weekly pickets were organized outside the hotel, the management
targeted Emily Tang as a central organizer of the committee.

At the beginning of September Emily spoke out against racist
discrimination and abuse at the hotel at a public film showing in Toronto
and the hotel management issued an order stating that if she continued to
speak out against the hotel then she would be fired. One month later she
was suspended. Actions in response to this suspension were organized in
Toronto and at the Metropolitan Hotel in Vancouver. This unjust
suspension, aimed at silencing Emily and all workers organizing for their
rights at the Metropolitan, did not end until January 24th - more than 3
months later.

When Emily reported to work for her first day back, she was promptly
fired. After all other attempts to silence Emily had failed, the owner and
management of the hotel executed this final step. Emily stands as a proud
symbol of resistance against attacks by bosses against the hard-won rights
of workers. As an immigrant woman of colour, her courageous fight carries
even more significance and importance.

At this time of crisis and attack on the democratic and labour rights of
Emily Tang - and through her, on all oppressed workers - it is critical
that all working, poor and oppressed people stand together and demand:





For more information on Emily Tang and the MHWC, please see:


Also see the interview with Emily Tang and the article on the MHWC in
issue #20-21 of the Fire This Time Newspaper, available online at:



BACKGROUNDER: Appeal for support from the MHWC


An Urgent Appeal for Solidarity in Toronto and Internationally

Fight Back Begins with Picket at the Metropolitan this Sunday, January
30th at 3.00 PM 108 Chestnut Street, West of Bay South off Dundas

Today, Metropolitan Hotel Workers Committee member, Emily Tang, was fired
by the Metropolitan Hotel. She had been suspended for weeks for violating
a shameless policy that bans workers from making public statements about
the Hotel deemed negative by management.

Emily has been targeted in this way by the Metropolitan's owner, Henry Wu
because she has been ready to take a stand for justice in her workplace
and because all attempts to intimidate and silence her have failed. She is

one of the many workers at the Hotel who have been injured by the
workplace conditions imposed upon them and her anger at what she and her
fellow workers faced turned her into someone who refused to be bullied. A
great deal of information about the injustices Emily has played a role in
fighting can be found on the MHWC website at

This attack on Emily is an attempt to silence the committee she is part of
and it will fail miserably. It is also a vicious attack on the right of
workers to free speech and their ability to challenge employers who abuse
and exploit them. While her termination letter repeats the assertion that
Emily has made 'untrue statements' no one in Hotel Management, from Wu
down, have ever responded to repeated challenges to show that anything
said by the MHWC, its members or supporters, has been false. Emily has
actually been fired for speaking the truth because Wu would rather it stay

The MHWC will expect the union that represents Metropolitan workers, UNITE
HERE Local 75, to take every action to defend their fired member.
Given,however, that the union's lawyer recently attempted to convince
Emily that the Hotel's gag order policy was reasonable and that she should
obey it, it will be necessary to pressure the union leadership on this
issue and for the MHWC and its supporters to act independently in Emily's

It should finally be said that the work of the rank and file MHWC has been
a vital development in this City in terms of immigrant workers fighting
back against employers who feel they are above challenge. This is a
serious attack but it can and must be turned back. Emily is ready to go on
speaking out and fighting back and she needs and deserves your support.

The MHWC will not have the opportunity to formally meet for several days
but, based on discussions that have taken place to-day among workers and
supporters, it is possible for the following initial outline of a
solidarity campaign to be put forward.

1. All supporters please come out to the above mentioned picket at the
Metropolitan this Sunday. Bring flags and banners and messages of support
from your organizations.

2. Call the Metropolitan Hotel's General Manager, Jeremy Roncoroni, at
(416)977-5000 and let him know this firing must be lifted.

3. Contact Local 75 President, Paul Clifford or Alexandra Dagg of UNITE
HERE National leadership and urge them to take up this fight in a serious
way. They are at (416) 510-0887 or into@unitehere.ca

4. If you are based at York University, add your voice to the call for
Henry Wu to be kicked off the Board of the York Foundation. His conduct as
an employer renders him unfit to play a role in a body linked to a public

5. Henry Wu owns three hotels in Canada. They are the only hotels in this
Country that are listed as part of a corporate network of hotels and hotel
chains who band together for mutual promotion purposes under the name of
Preferred Hotels. They are active in a range of cities and countries.
Their website is at www.preferredhotels.com
We are asking people everywhere to contact or hold actions at hotels
linked to this group to demand that Henry Wu to be removed from the
Preferred Hotels Board and that his hotels to be taken off their
international listings.

Thank you for your support and solidarity.

* Punching Out - North East Federation Anarchist Communist (NEFAC Toronto
local) have been supporters of the MHWC since its formation a year ago.

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