Tag Archives: front recent

Daily Hive covers cleaners rally at Canada Line in Vancouver

Leave a comment

B.C. government pressed to strengthen labour laws at Vancouver rally (Global News)

Leave a comment

Georgia Straight covers cleaners fight at Canada Line in Vancouver

Leave a comment

GDI Workers rally for job security!

Photo

 

 

In front of Canada Line and Cadillac Fairview Buildings – Large sidewalk at Granville and West Georgia intersection.

In front of Canada Line – Large sidewalk at Granville and West Georgia intersection.

BACKGROUND

The Service Employees International Union, Local 2 represents 16,000 workers across Canada including over 10,000 workers in the janitorial sector.

Without successorship rights for workers in BC, another fifty GDI employees are still facing the prospect of losing their jobs at Canada Line as the result of contract flipping. Tricom, the new cleaning contractor, has informed SEIU that they will not hire any of the GDI workers.

Protrans (Canada Line)
GDI has been cleaning the Canada Line for eight years and received good reviews from Protrans. Even so, on August 20, GDI workers were given lay off letters informing them that they are losing their jobs on September 17, 2018. The new company, Tricom, has informed SEIU that they do not intend to hire any GDI workers.

Weak Labour Laws in BC!
The decision to award the cleaning contract to the lowest bidder is a clear effort to increase profit margins through union busting, which is easier to achieve thanks to BC’s weak labour laws.

The absence of successorship provisions in the BC Labour Code creates a situation where companies can exploit contract flipping by not hiring the current employees and consequently, circumvent collective bargaining agreements and lower working conditions

WE DEMAND:

1) Give us our jobs back immediately
2) Respect our union and union contract
3) Better Labour Laws that don’t allow for union busting

Comments Off on GDI Workers rally for job security!

UBCO cleaners overwhelmingly vote yes to join SEIU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 16, 2018

UBC-Okanagan cleaners overwhelmingly vote yes to join SEIU Local 2 after defeat of boss ‘union’

A 90 percent yes vote sends strong message of cleaners’ commitment to be part of a real union at public post-secondary institutions in BC

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA –– Cleaners at the University of British Colombia-Okanagan campus celebrate a massive victory after voting Tuesday to join the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) Local 2.

“We have finally liberated ourselves from CLAC,” exclaimed Roshawn Nicholson, a cleaner at UBC-Okanagan and one of the worker witnesses that testified at the BC Labour Relations Board earlier this year. “The most powerful part of this process has been us coming together to demand the respect we deserve. There is power in unity and we are undeniably unified,” said Nicholson.

Their victory comes less than a month after the BC Labour Relations Board declared the ‘union’ contract between the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) and the cleaning contractor, Best Service Pros invalid, and only 2 weeks after another major win for the Justice for Janitors movement at the British Colombia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

SEIU Local 2 had challenged the contract, arguing that CLAC colluded with Best Service Pros to force a 10-year backroom deal on workers.

“We were sure it was only a matter of time before we were victorious,” said Nadia Khlafa, another Best cleaner leading the union drive at UBCO. “We as workers face a lot of exploitation and abuse in the cleaning sector and know that by being part of Justice for Janitors, we finally have a voice and our managers will be held more accountable for the decisions they make.”

July 10, 2018 – Contracted cleaners with Best Service Pros gather for a final picture before voting yes to join SEIU and bring the Justice for Janitors movement to the UBC-Okanagan campus.

July 10, 2018 – Contracted cleaners with Best Service Pros gather for a final picture before voting yes to join SEIU and bring the Justice for Janitors movement to the UBC-Okanagan campus.

The UBCO win adds momentum to workers’ ongoing union drive with SEIU at the Vancouver Community College and Langara College, which are the last two campuses under Best Service Pros that fought to get out of CLAC.

With UBCO joining the cleaners at BCIT and Capilano University, over 200 cleaners will continue building a stronger union and keep fighting for better working conditions at BC’s post-secondary institutions.

SEIU’s Justice for Janitors is a movement of workers that has successfully organized to improve wages, benefits, and job security for over 7,000 janitors across Canada. SEIU’s goal is to

organize all janitors in BC, so together, workers can raise standards in the janitorial sector and reverse the race to the bottom.

For more information, please visit www.bestworkersdeservebetter.com

CONTACT INFORMATION

Christine Bro: 778-996-4008, cbro@seiulocal2.ca

Leave a comment

BCIT cleaners win vote to join SEIU Local 2 after defeating boss ‘union’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 

June 27, 2018 

BCIT cleaners win vote to join SEIU Local 2 after defeating boss ‘union’

Victory at BCIT boosts resolve of cleaners at post-secondary campuses seeking to join SEIU’s Justice for Janitors movement

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA –– Cleaners at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) celebrate a huge win in forming their union with the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) just one week after the BC Labour Relations Board declared CLAC’s contract with the cleaning contractor, Best Service Pros invalid.

SEIU Local 2 had challenged the contract, arguing that Best Service Pros, conspired to make a 10-year backroom deal with the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), a known Employer-sided ‘union,’ and imposed the contract on the workers.

“Wow, we feel so happy today and are truly celebrating,” exclaimed Yolanda Florendo, a Best worker that led the union drive at BCIT and was subject to various forms of intimidation by the Employer and CLAC. “Despite all the games and rumors spread by CLAC and Best to scare us before vote day, we came out victorious in the end.”

The BCIT win was welcomed by other Best Service Pros cleaners currently organizing with SEIU at Langara College, UBC-Okanagan, and the Vancouver Community College.

“It’s about time to get united and we are making the right choice with SEIU who are supporting us in our struggle as janitors,” explains Nadia Khlafa, a Best worker at UBC-O. “It’s only a matter of time until we are standing together under one SEIU banner as winners.”

After an 18-month long fight, over 100 cleaners at BCIT will now be joining the Best cleaners at Capilano University, who organized with SEIU in February 2017 and were the first group to resist being trapped in a 10-year CLAC contract.

“We are so happy to hear we are getting stronger and are united in one union,” said Delia Tanza, a Best worker leader at Capilano University. “We fought so long for this and will now have more power as workers to demand better working conditions from our Employer.”

Best still faces over 50 allegations that they committed unfair labour practices during SEIU’s organizing drive, which are pending before the BC Labour Relations Board.

SEIU’s Justice for Janitors is a movement of workers that has successfully organized to improve wages, benefits, and job security for over 7,000 janitors across Canada. SEIU’s goal is to organize all janitors in BC, so together, workers can raise standards in the janitorial sector and reverse the race to the bottom.

For more information, please visit www.bestworkersdeservebetter.com

Contact Information

Christine Bro: 778-996-4008, cbro@seiulocal2.ca

Leave a comment

Cleaners defeat boss union opening door for workers to join SEIU Local 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2018   —   

Cleaners defeat boss union opening door for workers to join SEIU Local 2

Labour Board declares CLAC contract with Best Service Pros invalid

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA –– In a precedent setting decision, the B.C Labour Relations Board declared Friday that CLAC’s contract with Best Service Pros is invalid.

“This is a good day for justice,” exclaimed Roshawn Nicholson, a Best worker from UBC-Okanagan and one of the worker witnesses that attended the hearings.

The cleaning contractor, Best Service Pros, conspired a 10-year sweetheart deal with CLAC, an Employer-friendly ‘union,’ before hiring a single employee, leaving cleaners at four public post-secondary institutions trapped in poverty wages with no power to bargain collectively.

The Board concluded in its decision that “the ratification process was unreasonable, and the ratification process cannot be relied upon to reflect the true wishes of the employees.”

“The tides are finally turning in our favour,” expressed Nadia Khlafa, another worker with Best Service Pros. “CLAC betrayed the workers by underestimating us and making decisions without our consultation. This is a new and exciting chapter for us in our fight to win a real union and a voice at work,” Khlafa added.

The decision however stopped short in finding that Best and CLAC committed an unfair labour practice in conspiring their backroom deal, concluding that there was not sufficient evidence of collusion.

Best still faces over 50 allegations that they committed unfair labour practices during SEIU’s organizing drive, which are still pending before the Board.

After Best Service Pros cleaners at Capilano University organized with SEIU in February 2017, SEIU launched a larger province-wide campaign against Best to organize cleaners at both non-union and CLAC sites.

From the beginning, SEIU has argued that Best and CLAC duped its employees into accepting a 10-year contract in order to ensure price stability for their clients and have continued to collude to deny workers their right to form a real union with SEIU and engage in collective bargaining.

“In order for us workers to be represented in a fair manner and for our rights to be enforced, we need a union that is for the workers and we simply were not getting that with CLAC,” Nicholson explained.

SEIU’s Justice for Janitors is a movement of workers that has successfully organized to improve wages, benefits, and job security for over 7,000 janitors across Canada. SEIU’s goal is to organize all janitors in BC, so together, workers can raise standards in the janitorial sector and reverse the race to the bottom.

For more information, please visit www.bestworkersdeservebetter.com

Contact Information

Christine Bro: 778-996-4008, cbro@seiulocal2.ca

Leave a comment

Justice For Janitors @ Founders Square: Black Workers Matter!

HALIFAX, NS – Janitors deserve respect. Janitors deserve dignity. Janitors deserve protection from unnecessary and arbitrary job loss. Black workers must not continue being the “Last Hired and First Fired”.

Together we must rise to end racial injustice and demand a better future for the people who keep our communities and workplaces clean.

Recently the contract for cleaning Founders Square changed hands. As a result, all the cleaners of African descent were let go. Workers were then completely ignored by both Armour Group and Deep Down Cleaning Services when they reached out to discuss continued employment.

After being ignored, the Black janitors went ahead with announcing a human rights complaint alleging discrimination. Armour Group retaliated by ending the contract a week early, banning these workers from the building, and smearing the quality of their work in the media. This resulted in daily pickets endorsed by a wide coalition of community, labour, political, and faith groups including the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, an umbrella organization for 19 churches.

In a shameful display of indifference, neither Armour Group or Deep Down Cleaning have even bothered to reach out to these workers or engage in any dialogue. Instead, Deep Down has suggested that they plan on continuing their practice of discarding entire groups of workers arbitrarily in future contract take-overs. This is guaranteed to result in more sites of conflict and more disrupted lives in our community.

Building managers such as Armour Group must operate in a manner that is respectful of the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of their contracted cleaning staff. Colluding with incoming contractors to discard entire groups of workers is not only immoral, it can also so easily open the door for racial discrimination and other prejudicial hiring practices.

It is time for Nova Scotia to enact legislation to prevent injustices like this from re-occurring. The long and sordid history of racial injustice in this province demands policy changes that break cycles of economic dispossession still at play today.

Given that janitorial workers are disproportionately Black, Nova Scotia needs to address this as both a racial justice and an economic justice issue and follow the example of other jurisdictions that have enacted successor rights to give workers much-needed protections.

It is time for us all to treat janitorial workers with respect, and honour the vital role they play in our society. We can do that by creating systemic change that both safeguards against racial injustice and helps lift hundreds of families in our community out of poverty. The time is now to transition this industry into a place where people can once again find good, stable, and dignified work.

Front page halifax action

Together we rise for racial and economic justice. We rise to affirm that Black Workers Matter, that Janitors are not Disposable, and we unite our voices to call on…

-> Armour Group to adopt a responsible contractor policy.
-> Deep Down Cleaning Services to commit to changing how they operate when taking over contracts.
-> Nova Scotia to pass legislation that gives workers greater stability and protections against arbitrary job loss through contract flipping
-> All levels of government to pass responsible contractor policies and build social justice riders into all lease agreements with property managers where government is a major tenant.

Leave a comment

Best Service Pros cleaners deliver petition to Labour Board demanding workers’ voices be heard

Cleaners representing five post-secondary campuses in BC are asking the Labour Board to respect the workers’ wishes and open ballots cast in January.

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – A worker delegation from Best Service Pros delivered a petition early Wednesday, signed by the majority of workers, insisting that the BC Labour Board “allow workers to decide” by opening the ballot box and counting their votes.

“Not having the ballots counted has crushed the enthusiasm we felt when we knew the Labour Board ordered a vote to happen and the feeling of accomplishment we all felt on vote day,” said Yolanda Florendo, a worker at BCIT that has been leading the union drive at her campus to leave CLAC and join SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaign.

The petition signed by Best Service Pros cleaners at BCIT, VCC, UBC-Okanagan, Langara College and Capilano University stated that “on January 18, 2018, we had a vote where we were finally given the chance to choose what union we want to represent us. Unfortunately, the legal objections that have been raised on our application have risked not having the ballots opened.”

Best Service Pros workers from BCIT, Capilano University, VCC, Langara College & UBC-Okanagan Campus gather March 14, 2018 in front of BC Labour Relations Board.

Best Service Pros workers from BCIT, Capilano University, VCC, Langara College & UBC-Okanagan gather March 14, 2018 in front of the BC Labour Relations Board.

Both CLAC and Best Service Pros have objected to the workers’ union application with SEIU Local 2, which would see CLAC completely displaced from these public post-secondary institutions.

“The process alone of making it to a vote was a big challenge for us, and at times very stressful because Best and CLAC worked together to spread fear and doubts among my co-workers,” said Florendo.

SEIU has filed over 50 individual incidents of unfair labour practices at the BC Labour Relations Board in response to a coordinated and aggressive anti-SEIU campaign launched by Best and CLAC.

“Having the chance to vote and have our voices heard gave us a lot of hope that we can finally start making improvements at work and start building towards a better future with other Best workers at campuses in BC,” said Roshawn Nicholson, a worker at UBC-Okanagan.

“I believe workers should have the right to choose a union and that’s why our votes should be counted,” added Nicholson.

New Labour Board Chair Jacquie de Aguayo accepts and promises to review workers' petition.

Newly appointed Labour Relations Board Chair, Jacquie de Aguayo, accepts and promises to review workers’ petition to have ballots opened – March 14, 2018.

In conjunction with the delivery of the petition, a website was launched outlining the campaign and organizing efforts of Best Service Pros workers to form a union with SEIU and fight for better wages and working conditions  (www.bestworkersdeservebetter.com).

CLAC is known to be an Employer-dominated union within the Labour Movement in Canada and often negotiates sweetheart deals with Employers at the expense of workers’ rights and working standards.

Best Service Pros contacted CLAC in May 2016 and signed a 10-year ‘Voluntary Recognition Agreement’ behind closed doors and without the participation of a single worker, leaving workers at public post-secondary institutions trapped in a decade long poverty deal.

Currently, the BC Labour Relations Board is conducting public hearings on whether the CLAC contract constitutes a valid collective agreement. SEIU maintains that the CLAC contract is invalid and has been used as a strategy to prevent workers from being part of real unions and participating in collective bargaining.

SEIU Local 2 is engaged in organizing Best Service Pros workers across the province.

SEIU’s Justice for Janitors is a movement of workers that has successfully organized to improve wages, benefits, and job security for over 7,000 janitors across Canada. SEIU’s goal is to organize all janitors in BC, so together, workers can raise industry standards and reverse the race to the bottom.

Watch Justice for Janitors on Breakfast Television Vancouver

Leave a comment

Campus shutdown at Capilano University averted after workers reach tentative deal

SEIU Local 2 cleaners at Capilano University were set to walk off the job Monday in protest of poverty wages

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA ––Capilano University cleaners reached a tentative deal late Thursday with their Employer, Best Service Pros, as they began mobilizing for strike actions scheduled for Monday.

“We feel very proud and this truly is a victory for us that we all fought hard for,” said Delia Tanza, who is a cleaner and member of the Bargaining Committee. “Today was the first time after months of bargaining that Best started taking us seriously and were able to offer us something more than poverty wages.”

Last Tuesday, the cleaners unanimously voted yes to take strike action and returned to the bargaining table in a legal position to do so.

Capilano University Cleaners, employed by Best Service Pros, during their unanimous strike vote on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018.

Capilano University Cleaners, employed by Best Service Pros, during their unanimous strike vote on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018.

“The most rewarding part is the power we felt as workers knowing that we have the campus community behind us and that they were ready to stand next to us if we had to walk off the job,” said Analou Espina, another member of the Bargaining Committee.

Early Thursday, faculty and staff unions at Capilano University, including the Capilano Faculty Association, MoveUP and CUPE 1004, committed to standing in solidarity with the cleaners and honouring their picket line during a coordinating meeting set up by the BC Federation of Labour.

“The Capilano Faculty Association stands in solidarity with SEIU Local 2 and calls on university management to implement a policy that supports Living Wages and Benefits for all direct and contracted workers on campus, as a broader ‘Justice for all Campus Workers’ initiative,” said Brent Calvert, President of the Capilano Faculty Association.

The cleaners’ union drive with SEIU Local 2 and commencement of bargaining had also given rise to a larger campus-wide campaign calling for a Living Wage and Benefits for all direct and contracted workers on campus.

The cleaners at Capilano University have been in first contract negotiations with their Employer, Best Service Pros, since September.

“There were definitely times when we felt tired and frustrated, but this all goes to show when workers come together and refuse to give up, we can make real gains for ourselves and our families,” Tanza added.

Workers are all smiles after learning that their dedication , persistence and courage has finally paid off.

On Thursday, February 15th 2016, workers are all smiles after learning that their dedication , persistence and courage has finally paid off.

Last February, despite an anti-union boss fight and fear campaign, the cleaners at Capilano University voted to unionize with SEIU Local 2. Best Service Pros put up numerous legal objections at the Labour Board to prevent workers from joining SEIU, but their ballots were ordered unsealed in June after a positive decision from the BC Labour Board.

SEIU Local 2 is engaged with organizing Best Service Pros workers across the province.

SEIU’s Justice for Janitors is a movement of workers that has successfully organized to improve wages, benefits, and job security for over 7,000 janitors across Canada. SEIU’s goal is to organize all janitors in BC, so together, workers can raise industry standards and reverse the race to the bottom.

For more information, please visit www.justiceforjanitors.ca

The Service Employees International Union is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with 100,000 workers in Canada and two million workers across Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

Contact Information

Christine Bro – 778-996-4008, cbro@seiulocal2.ca

Leave a comment