Vancouver, BC – Janitors working for Alpine Building Maintenance in the Lower Mainland have joined SEIU Local 2 and, in late November, voted to ratify their new collective agreement.
“Joining the union was an easy decision for me,” says Praveen Parmar, who has been a cleaner since 2004 and in the same building for almost a decade. “Most of us were making minimum wage or a few cents above minimum wage and we had no health benefits [but] starting on December 1, we will all be receiving immediate wage increases and health benefits for our families. On top of this, we will also be getting a new paid statutory day on Boxing Day!”
The nearly 100 workers at various commercial and office properties, including the BC Supreme Court and other Government of Canada buildings, are joining approximately 450 Alpine workers previously unionized with Local 2. SEIU’s newest Alpine members voted to join an existing collective agreement that Alpine members fought hard to win in December of 2020 and expires in the spring of 2023.
“When we have a union, we have rights and everyone is equal,” says Gofar Abubakar. “We can sit down at the table and talk and this way; we are stronger and can all win more benefits together.”
Next spring, Alpine workers will be amongst thousands of janitors from various cleaning companies who will be returning to the bargaining table to fight for additional improvements. With inflation and the cost of living on the rise, unionized janitors across BC will be standing together to negotiate better standards for all workers in the industry.
Alpine Building Maintenance is a national cleaning contractor that manages approximately 100 million square feet of commercial space across Canada.