Unifor holds rallies across Canada for cleaners

All workers deserve living wage, union says
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 11/01/2013

Unifor held rallies across Canada on Oct. 31 in support of unionized cleaners in Vancouver who lost their jobs and were replaced by workers earning $2 less per hour.

Unionized workers employed by the Vancouver-based company Servantage were paid $12.50 an hour to clean the Waterfront and Pacific Centre buildings. Cadillac Fairview — the owner of the two buildings — recently announced it would no longer work with Servantage and would replace the 150 cleaners with non-union workers.

In a press release Unifor reported the company is letting its members go in favour of a cheaper contractor paying $10.50 an hour with few benefits.

Unifor’s B.C. area director Gavin McGarrigle said the company “can afford to pay these workers a living wage,” which the union says is about $20 an hour in Vancouver.

Rallies were held across Canada on Oct. 31 in support of the Unifor Local 3000 members. Toronto was one of six cities that participated in the protest.

Standing in front of the Cadillac Fairview-owned TD Centre high-rise, Unifor national president Jerry Dias told Toronto protestors the plight of union workers anywhere in the country affects all Canadians.

“A crime against workers in Vancouver is a crime against workers here in Toronto and right across the country,” he said. “We stand for all contract and precarious workers.”

Protests were also held in Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver and Kitchener, Ont.

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