Union Members Picket Hype Hair Salon

Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World

MEDIA RELEASE

December 19, 2011

For Immediate Release

UNION MEMBERS PICKET HYPE HAIR SALON

WAGE THEFT IS NOT A ‘SPECIAL EVENT’ IN OTTAWA

PICKETS
TUESDAY, DEC. 20, 12.30PM
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 12:30PM
THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 12:30PM
FRIDAY, DEC. 23, 12:30PM

OTTAWA—Two union members are demanding their first month’s pay from a hair salon on Bank Street the week before Christmas.

Brandon Wallans and Stephen Toth, members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), are owed approximately $2,400 and $1,200 respectively for a combined 7 weeks of work at Hype Unisex Salon and Spa at 386 Bank Street.

“We thought helping launch this salon was a great opportunity, but the manager took advantage of our enthusiasm. When we realized that we would not get paid, we quit.”

Management at Hype now denies Brandon and Stephen were employees. She has rebuffed all attempts of the union to negotiate a settlement or discuss the matter. Instead, she has repeatedly called the Ottawa police in order to disrupt the picket line while she snuck clients into her salon through the back door.

The police have threatened Brandon, Stephen and their supporters with charges of trespassing for picketing on a public sidewalk. Police ticketed Brandon under Ottawa’s Special Events on City Streets bylaw during his first week.

“Wage theft in today’s economy is common, not a “Special Event” in Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario,” said Ahmed, secretary of the IWW branch in Ottawa.

The IWW will continue to press for justice and demands that the Ottawa police respect our lawful picket and the rights of our members as guaranteed under the Constitution of Canada. Everyone has the right to get paid for work done.

The Ottawa-Outaouais IWW will continue holding picket lines at 386 Bank Street and invites everyone who is concerned about workplace justice to join us.

More information about wage theft in Ontario can be found at OttawaIWW.org

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For more information, please send an email to info@ottawaiww.org