TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Ernie Eves called an emergency session
of the Ontario legislative body July 11 to introduce back-to-work
legislation for the City of Toronto's 25,000 employees.
A strike since June 26 by garbage collectors and other municipal
union workers has put the city's squeeky-clean image in question,
and may be further compounded by a possible hotel union workers'
strike, a Toronto Convention & Visitors Association spokeswoman
During the civic unions' strike over job security in the event
of privatization, trash is piling up in city parks, Toronto Island
Ferry service is canceled, and city-run museums, art galleries and
cultural facilities are closed.
The timing of the Toronto garbage collectors and potential hotel
workers' strike is worrysome for Dallas-based trade association
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which to date has 2,600
attendees registered for its annual World Education Congress in
Toronto July 21 to 23.
Though an MPI spokeswoman said the event has not seen a drop-off
in attendance this year, registration so far is only three-fourths
of the record 3,461 attendees at the World Education Congress in
Las Vegas last year.
Two official host hotels for the MPI conference, the Fairmont
Royal York and Sheraton Centre, are trying to reach a settlement
with a local Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees labor union to
avoid a potential strike of their own.
The association said in a prepared statement it is "closely
monitoring the garbage collection strikes and other pending strikes
MPI has commitments from the hotels that in the event of a hotel
strike, the properties would bring in other employees, "and there
would be no disruptions for our conference attendees at all," the
The meeting planners' conference will be followed by what is
expected to be the largest event ever in Canada -- Pope John Paul
II's World Youth Day, July 23 to 28, which the CVA spokeswoman said
could draw 350,000 visitors.
For the latest on Toronto's labor disruptions, call the TCVA at
(800) 499-2514 or visit the city's Web site at www.city.toronto.on.ca.