Immigrant Hospitality Workers Protest Trump

Torontoist

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Immigrant Hospitality Workers Protest Trump

Trump Hotel employees decry presidential candidate's immigration rhetoric and policies.

Photo by Samira Mohyeddin.


A mariachi band provided the soundtrack for hundreds of people who gathered in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower at the corner of Bay and Adelaide to protest the anti-immigrant statements made by real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In a demonstration that coincided with Trump’s appearance at the Republican debate in Ohio, workers from the Trump Hotel and Tower were supported by fellow members of UNITE HERE Local 75, the hospitality workers’ union in Toronto.

The Trump Hotel hospitality employees unionized earlier this year. There are around 100 people in their bargaining unit.

Charlotte Rapirap, a Filipino immigrant and room attendant, is one of those employees. She has worked at the downtown hotel for three years, and wants the namesake of the hotel to change his views on immigrants.

“We are the ones who make him his money and he needs to respect the work we do,” said Rapirap.

Trump consistently leads polls for the Republican nomination despite provocative comments about Mexican rapists allegedly flowing over the border, and questionable claims that he will get Mexico to build a wall along the U.S. border.

Trump has repeatedly refused to apologize for his comments.

At the protest, workers and immigrants sang, danced, and chanted slogans. The spirited and lively tone was deliberate, according to Lis Pimentel, the president of Local 75.

“We are here to celebrate because Toronto is a proud city of immigrants, and the hospitality industry thrives because of its extremely diverse workforce. We want to make it clear to Mr. Trump that his anti-immigrant statements aren’t welcome here in Toronto.”

The Toronto protest against Trump’s statements were held in solidarity with other rallies in Vancouver, Chicago, and Las Vegas.

Trump could not be reached for comment.

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