Workers at French-owned hotel strike just before French G20 delegates arrive

Workers at French-owned hotel strike just before French G20 delegates arrive

An inflatable rat supports the striking Novotel workers: "Vive le Novotel Libre!" (Image: Ashleigh Ryan) 

If anyone knows a Toronto hotel with any rooms left, the French G20 posse could use your help. Workers at the downtown Novotel, where the French delegation planned to stay, seemed to be inspired by Les Bleus when they refused to practice on Sunday. Eighty Novotel workers walked off the job at 6:30 a.m. this morning and are rallying this afternoon to protest what they see as “disregard for job security and workplace safety.” According to the Globe and Mail, the workers believe their rights have been eroded since 2008, the last time their contracts were negotiated. Novotel’s parent company is Accor, whose French origins make the whole situation all the more titter-worthy.

During the walkout, Novotel workers sported red and white scarves like the ones worn by French soccer fans, and at this afternoon’s rally, they blasted African vuvuzelas. Likening themselves to the French team is probably not the best idea, since Les Bleus are pretty much the laughing stock of the soccer world right now. We’re all for fighting the power, but it’ll be tough for the strikers to get sympathy from any French entity when they’ve forced the delegation to go without room service for three days in a locked-down city.

Toronto hotel workers strike ahead of G20 (Globe and Mail)