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Last January, Bee-Clean janitors cleaning the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver, BC unionized with SEIU Local 2 so they can win much needed improvements – health benefits, pay increases, job security, and better health & safety measures.

With over 600 Bee-Clean janitors in the Lower Mainland already unionized with SEIU, we expected that bargaining would move quickly as the Bargaining Committee used the existing Bee-Clean agreement as a template for OCC bargaining. Instead, Bee-Clean and their legal counsel have reverted to their usual delay tactic in bargaining a first collective agreement and have refused to provide any more bargaining dates until now.

To add more insult to this was in the last bargaining on June 8, Bee-Clean was offering workers who clean a correctional centre in a remote area a $1.00 to 50 cent increase in the first year and a 0.50 cent increase each year after while saying no to all their other monetary proposals.

That’s why on June 10, OCC workers got together and voted 100% in favour of strike action. Currently, we are waiting on the Labour Board process to be completed to know if we can practice our right to strike action.

The rise in the cost of living and unprecedented inflation we are experiencing means workers are still struggling to pay bills and make ends meet. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) as calculated by Statistics Canada has annual inflation at 6.8%, the highest we have seen in 31 years!

OCC janitors remain united and steadfast in winning a fair first contract deal and ready to take action to achieve this!

Workers Voices

“We joined the Union so my co-workers and I could win health benefits. We came to learn that being part of a Union also means we need to stick together and make sure we are being treated fairly and with respect at work.”

Tyler Austen

“Costs in the Okanagan have increased significantly with recent inflation – in particular, the cost of housing, food and gas. I’m ready to fight alongside my co-workers to win better wages that keep up with the cost of living.”

Amandeep Sohi

“I recently started working with Bee-Clean and when I was hired, they tried to hire me at a lower starting rate than everyone. Through my Union, I was able to get them to adjust my pay rate. This goes to show why it’s so important to win an Agreement where your wage rates and any increases are clearly laid out.”

Isabel Dennis


On June 10, janitors at the Okanagan Correctional Centre voted 100% in favour of strike action after we reached an impasse at bargaining. We are currently having to go through a Section 55 process at the Labour Board since this is a first Collective agreement and waiting to see how that process goes before we can plan our next steps.


Mediation meetings.

Workers at OCC vote 100% in favour of a strike.

Negotiations with Bee-Clean.

Negotiations with Bee-Clean.

Negotiations with Bee-Clean.

Negotiations with Bee-Clean commence.

Bee-Clean workers win Union with SEIU Local 2.

How Strikes work in British Columbia

Your Employer continues to take an unrealistic approach in bargaining and ignore our key priorities. We need a strike mandate to show them how serious we are about winning a fair Union contract.

A vote to withhold our labour is what gives us the most power to put economic pressure on Employers and return to bargaining with a fair deal.

Yes. Workers who participate in the strike will receive strike pay. Strike pay is also non-taxable income according to Canada Revenue.

No. It is your legal right to strike in Canada and you are protected by the law. It is illegal for your Employer to retaliate against you in any way.

No, the labour law in BC has anti-scab legislation. This means your Employer cannot bring in “scabs” to replace your labour and do your work to make your strike less effective.


For more information speak to your steward, contact an organizer or your Union Representative.

Jorge Villatoro
604.540.7774 ext 206

Christine Bro
604.540.7774 ext 207