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Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Healthcare Canada Speaks Out in Support of Tropicana Workers

Tyler Downey used to attend Tropicana as a youth growing up in Scarborough

“As Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Healthcare, I proudly represent over 60,000 health care workers across Canada. From spending time with our members and within their communities, I understand the vital importance of community-based organizations.

I also have personal experience that testifies to the value of community-based organizations. As a young person growing up in Scarborough, I benefited greatly from Tropicana Community Services. Their youth programs were important in my self-development, and I look back on my time there as formative.

The frontline workers at Tropicana are the heart and soul of its programming. It is disheartening to hear from workers about Tropicana management's unfair treatment. To learn that Tropicana workers have been subject to years of wage freezes as cost-of-living in Toronto rapidly escalated is very disappointing.

Now that workers have been pushed to strike, Tropicana management has not only continued with their intransigence but has hired strike-breakers and security guards. Tropicana is a publicly-funded organization financed by all three levels of government. Public funds should absolutely not be used to undermine workers' right to a fair collective agreement.

As someone who benefited from the amazing services Tropicana has to offer, I have always made it a point to promote and speak highly of the work Tropicana management does for the community. Unfortunately, I no longer am able to do so, considering the way in which the leadership of Tropicana has chosen to treat its frontline staff throughout the current bargaining process.

I call on Tropicana management to return to the table, bargain in good faith and grant Tropicana workers the wage increase they rightfully deserve.”