Over 2500 SEIU Local 2 janitors from across Metro-Vancouver head into Bargaining
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Over 2500 SEIU Local 2 janitors from across Metro-Vancouver are in central bargaining Negotiations for the first time. Their goal is to win much needed improvements like cost-of-living wage increases, improved benefits, a pension plan, better health and safety measures, and job security.
“We all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Agnes Estimo, who works for Best Service Pros in Metropolis Metrotown. “Now is our time, and we are ready to stand up for what we deserve.”
Like many workers, janitors have been experiencing the effects of an unprecedented rise in the cost-of-living. At current wages, even basic necessities are out of reach. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) as calculated by Statistics Canada has annual inflation at 6.8%, the highest seen in 31 years.
“The cost of living in BC is skyrocketing,” said Rolando Gonzalez, employed by Alpine Building Maintenance at the Lansdowne Centre. “Our wages aren’t enough. We deserve better pay.”
Ariel Dela Riarte works for GDI Integrated Facility Services at the Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre. He said, “winning a pension plan is one of our top priorities. For all the work we do, companies need to contribute more for our future security when we retire.”
SEIU Local 2 members clean public transportation systems, commercial office buildings, government buildings, shopping malls, food courts, post-secondary institutions, private schools, healthcare facilities, courthouses, and more. They are working for eight of Canada’s largest cleaning contractors.
For the first time in Vancouver, Bee-Clean Building Maintenance, Best Service Pros, GDI Integrated Facility Services, Alpine Building Maintenance, Ultratech Cleaning Systems, Hallmark Housekeeping Services, BGIS Integrated Facility Management and C&W Services will all be at the central bargaining table together. SEIU has successfully negotiated master agreements through central bargaining in Toronto and Ottawa.
“Cleaning the public transit means putting ourselves at risk to many things,” said Lenna McVeety. She works for Bee-Clean Building Maintenance on the Skytrain. “As frontline workers, we are the ones that makes sure that the Skytrain is clean for the public to use and enjoy.”
Talks are scheduled for today and tomorrow. Additional dates will be set soon. The current union contract expires May 31, 2023.
For more information visit www.justiceforjanitors.ca/campaigns/2023-vancouver-city-wide-bargaining.
SEIU Local 2 represents over 18,000 essential workers in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta. We are proud members of the largest, fastest-growing and most dynamic union in North America.
Diego Mendez | 416-476-7762 | [email protected]
Christine Bro | 778-996-4008| [email protected]