According to the Toronto Star, a local union is calling on Toronto's hotel industry to implement a training program modeled on an initiative in Las Vegas that has moved low-paid hotel workers into the middle class with decent wages.

Unite Here, a hotel workers' union, is working with 100-plus hotels to set up an "equal opportunity training fund" to lift the industry's majority immigrant workforce out of poverty. The program will be modeled after the pilot program that was successful in Las Vegas. There, a coalition of 24 casinos established a culinary academy to train hotel workers from housekeeping to maintenance and food and beverage to improve service. Language training was also offered.

According to the reports, 70 percent of Greater Toronto's 8,500 accommodation services workers are immigrants and 52 percent are visible minorities with a median wage of $26,000 a year.

More than 800 hotel workers from across the area attended the Unite Here rally where most were excited about the prospect of a training fund.

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