Justice for Janitors at Oxford Properties
What’s happening at Oxford Properties in Vancouver?
In September 2019, the janitors at 401 West Georgia and 355 Burrard decided to come together to unionize so they could win job security and better working conditions for their families.
The successor company, Bee-Clean Building Maintenance, is set to take over the cleaning contract from Supra Properties Services Ltd on September 30, 2019.
Bee-Clean Building Maintenance, a huge national contractor that cleans up to 250 million square feet across Canada attempted to displace almost all of the newly unionized workforce, arguing that the new successorship provisions should not apply to this group of workers.
On Friday September 27, 2019, the BC Labour Relations Board held an expedited hearing on this matter.
On Saturday September 28, the Labour Board ruled that the new successorship provisions do apply to the janitors at the two Oxford Properties. This means that Bee-Clean is now required to retain the existing employees and respect their legal right to collective bargaining.
Last May, the BC provincial government amended Section 35 of the BC Labour Code to include successorship provisions for building cleaners and other contracted workers facing precarity during contract flips. These new provisions apply only at unionized worksites.
Previously, workers were forced to re-apply for the same jobs they had been doing for years with no guarantee that the new company would re-hire them. This is still the case for janitors working at non-unionized worksites.
This new legislation was designed to protect vulnerable workers in precisely the situation currently taking place at 401 W Georgia and 355 Burrard and is proving to work.
We would like to thank the tenants for the support and solidarity you have shown so far.
For more information, please refer to September 30, 2019 press release.