MLSE Strike
Old 12-16-2013, 04:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys!

What a game against Chicago!

Anyway, if you guys aren't aware, there's currently a strike for ACC, Real Sports, and Eleven workers. ACC is running on limited staff using a 3rd party company, while Real Sports and Eleven have been closed indefinitely since Thursday night.

This includes wait staff, bartenders, concession workers, house keeping, and the change-over crew (that change the ice-to-court).

We're day 3 into our strike. If you want to know more about what they offered us, what the strike is about, read this thread I posted a couple days ago[1] in /r/toronto[2] , which funnily enough has the aptly named title begging the question why our strike was receiving little media attention. 3 days later, and many phone calls and emails placed, we've figured it out--they're trying to shut us out and keep us quiet.

As I mentioned in that thread, the ACC and Real Sports are premium venues in North America, let alone the City of Toronto. MLSE does a good job at making sure the employees they hire are eager, outgoing, friendly, and technically well skilled at their job, so kudos to the hiring department on that front. Of course, rightfully so. Running both premium venues and the events in the Square, requires the best of the best in the industry. I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but it takes a lot of man power, expertise, and positive vibes to operate Maple Leaf Square day in, day out. The workers behind the scenes are the backbone of those moments you cherish--those cheers and thrills whenever a goal is scored, or a last-second basket is made, and the fog horn sounds with a standing ovation.

We all love working for MLSE. We want to get back to work and provide the excellent service and experience to you inside the ACC and Real Sports. The ticket price for the Leafs is the highest in the league, and MLSE is one of the largest sports franchises in the world. We're baffled as to why our wages would even be considered rolled back. The MLSE brand is a premium brand, and we simply ask we get paid accordingly.

Unfortunately, the offer MLSE gave us was simply overwhelming disrespectful, and they gave us no moral option but to strike.

How overwhelmingly disrespectful?

82% of the vote was in favor to strike, and that doesn't include the people that simply could not attend the meeting. If one could not be present, that vote automatically counts toward NO STRIKE. Which means that 82% of wanting to strike, would have likely been higher. This illustrates just how absolutely unacceptable the new collective bargaining agreement they offered us was. The real percentage could have been 87%, 93%, or just shy of 100%; who knows.

We love our fans, we love our job, we love the Leafs and Raptors, WE LOVE BEING THERE EVERYDAY. We want to get back, but we also need help.

If you'd like to help--we, the team at the ACC, Real Sports and Eleven, would appreciate it.

If, for some reason, you don't support the cause, that's fair. We get the odd person or comment that is rather negative and such. We're not trying to twist anyone's arm.

But if you WOULD like to help, you can do the following:

Tweet: @RealSports, @MapleLeafs, @Raptors, @AirCanadaCentre using the hashtag #BringTheBleedBlueCrewBack (sorry for the extra long hashtag).

Facebook: Real Sports[3] , Leafs[4] , Raptors[5] , Air Canada Center[6] , and kind leave a polite message to bring us back to work, possibly using the aforementioned hashtag.

That's it I suppose. Thank you kindly for reading.

GO LEAFS, and GO RAPTORS!

EDIT fixed 93%
We're workers that work at ACC and Real Sports. Because MLSE is owned by Rogers and Bell, we can't get any press. Wondering if you guys would help the little guys that work hard behind the scenes. [x-post /r/Leafs : torontoraptors
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Striking workers call for better wages, ‘business as usual’ at ACC | Toronto Star
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sun News : Air Canada Centre workers strike
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I used to work labor disputes and 11 or 12 years ago we worked a strike at the ACC. I'd work during the day 7-7, then we'd get access into the arena if games were going on that night (leafs & Raptors). Was a pretty cool gig.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So if you haven't heard, all unionized ACC, Real Sports, and Eleven workers are on strike.

It comes at a less favorable time of year when we all need money, the company included, and a part of me just wishes I didn't vote for a strike, but I/we had to do the right thing. They say it's a slippery slope, and I/we feel MLSE went too far this time. The vote was 82% in favor of a strike.

I'll be honest, I have no idea how this will be received. I fear the citizens of Toronto will not support us and call us "lazy" and call for us to get back to work. Truth is, the people that work at all venues put on a SHOW. Your experience at Real Sports or the ACC is electrifying because the industry professionals working them are the best of the best in this city. We make look easy I suppose.

MLSE's general good hiring practice is indicative that we require extremely professional, energetic, engaging, AND EXPERIENCED staff to run their entire operation. And we are. We work very hard covering huge areas, with lots of stairs and floors--and--for anyone that's worked in the restaurant industry, you know it's tough. You take heat from you guests, you take heat from your manager. And what do you do with all the anxiety? You bottle it. That's how the industry works. That's just what's expected. If you've never worked in a restaurant--I'm telling you--that's exactly how it is. It's sort of inhumane, but, that's the way it is. Anyway...

Like I said, I'm not sure how this will be received, but I hope people don't think we're being greedy.

The top concern which is the first thing on the Collective Agreement is the wage roll-backs (yes, roll-back). I'm working on getting a .pdf for you guys if you're interested in reading it:

WAGES: For the ACC, 2013 we would not get the wage increase we were supposed to get when the contract expired 6 months ago. 2014 would see a 1% wage increase (0.18). For Real Sports and Elleven, the waiters/bartenders would see anywhere from 1-2 dollar wage rollback, and be frozen; never to be raised. For chefs, it's even worse. They would see anywhere from 5-7 dollar roll-back. Yes. If they were making 18 dollars an hour, they could be reduced to 11, and the next wage increase would be 30 cents in 2 years! Unbelievable.

The "upside" to this, is that for (1) one year, they would take your respective cut, and pay you a lump sum. Now, if you're not planning on being with the company for long, that sounds not so bad right? And that's how MLSE works. They use that as a crutch to turn people inside the camp against each other. But the lump sum isn't that much. For waiters it's roughly $1200 BEFORE taxes.

This doesn't include things that already exist, the union is trying to acquire, but MLSE denied giving it to us. Things like:

No wait-staff ever get to see the bill for large corporate functions. They do this so we can't prove how much gratuity should go to the wait staff. There was a grievance held last year at the ACC, where the union discovered MLSE pocketed $40,000 of gratuity money, that should have gone to their workers. If you need clarification on that I can ask my union representative for documentation.

At this moment, we have literature that prohibits MLSE hiring outside staff to continue functions should a strike ever occur. The new deal wanted to change that, where they could in fact do so. This is important. This would effectively render any strike in the future by MLSE workers null and void. Business would carry on as usual, and nothing would be affected. They could offer worse and worse contracts as the years go on, and we really would have no choice but to accept it.

However, while Real Sports and Eleven are closed, MLSE hired outside staff for the ACC anyway. The amount lost with no concessions opened is larger than what they will have to pay the lawyers by this breach in the contract. That is also noteworthy, as this says a lot of how important their wait-staff is to running the MLSE empire.

That's it for now. I have to go now, as I will be down by the ACC picketing today in these wonderful temperatures.

Thanks for listening.

Go Leafs Go.

EDIT as of 12:15am Sunday, 15 December

Wow. I am absolutely floored by all the support. A HUGE 'thank you' to everyone that supports this and has our backs. The fight has just started, but it's nice to know we have roughly 80% of the city's support on this. That's terrific!

Today went well. We got to talk to a lot more people, and we connected on a personal level and we got to explain to people what was going on. I would say 9 people out of 10 supported us greatly. So that's great!

Tomorrow's a new day, and we'll be back at it.

Thanks again everyone, for your kind words and support. Together, we'll reach an agreement and get back to work, serving the team we love.

And what a win tonight!

GO! LEAFS! GO!
I see the MLSE strike isn't getting much press. Just wanted to let /r/toronto what's going on, if you're interested... : toronto
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Pay those men their monies.


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I used to work labor disputes and 11 or 12 years ago we worked a strike at the ACC. I'd work during the day 7-7, then we'd get access into the arena if games were going on that night (leafs & Raptors). Was a pretty cool gig.
Scab.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummond so people stop whining

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Pay those men their monies.




Scab.
I was working as an investigator. lol
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was working as an investigator. lol
Much better!
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
is praying Ross makes us forget Drummond so people stop whining

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Much better!
indeed
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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In the ultimate irony of ironies for those who know me around here.

The strike 11 years ago....I was a union rep at the ACC

They hated me.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to work labor disputes and 11 or 12 years ago we worked a strike at the ACC. I'd work during the day 7-7, then we'd get access into the arena if games were going on that night (leafs & Raptors). Was a pretty cool gig.
The VC days.
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