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ATU solidarity for striking Rainforest Café workers

Sandi Mansfield, ATU 1582

June 26, 2019

On Monday June 24 we, bus drivers in Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local 1582, joined the Rainforest Cafe workers on the picket line in Niagara, Ontario. Rainforest Café workers have now been on the picket line for 3 months.

The strikers called for support from other unions so that they can keep their picket line strong. ATU members answered that call.

We were able to convince a number of the people wanting to spend their hard earned money to not spend it at a place where the employer steals workers tips, condones sexual harassment and takes the tourist tax and puts it in his own pocket. We were able to get a number of the bus drivers passing by to continue to support the workers by beeping their horn.

On Wednesday June 26, the strikers union, Workers United Local 2347, will go before an arbitrator with their claim of bad faith bargaining by the owner/management of the Rain Forest Café. It will likely be 7 to 10 days after that they will find out the results of the ruling.

If they win this they will be back at work with a first contract by arbitration. If they lose they will be likely be on the picket line all summer. If they do win and go back to work they fully expect management to make life for them very difficult. They do have plans in place to train all picketers on how to remain calm, do their job and file grievances.

The actions of ATU and other unions by cross picketing is part a new and welcome development of cross union solidarity activity in Niagara.

The resounding cheers of many young people showing support was also very encouraging for the strikers!

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