YVR Union

Frontline Janitors at Vancouver International Airport are organizing a union with SEIU to win much needed job security, protections and bargaining power at work.

Background

On September 17, 2021, YVR janitors voted on whether to unionize with SEIU Local 2. These ballots are currently sealed because Alpine Building Maintenance Inc, who took over the cleaning contract on October 1, has raised a legal objection at the BC Labour Board. In doing so, Alpine is delaying the process and attempting to oppose worker’s unionization efforts with SEIU Local 2.

These actions are unacceptable and completely disrespect the democratic wishes of workers. By using the legal process to delay the counting of the votes, workers will need to wait longer before they can reach the negotiating table. Workers deserve the right to collectively bargain a fair union contract that includes improvements such as guaranteed yearly wage increases, 100% Employer paid benefits, and job security.

To make matters worse, Alpine has started all former Dexterra workers as probationary employees without recognizing their years of service and seniority at YVR. Winning a union at YVR is what will guarantee workers will be protected under successorship legislation in the BC Labour Code, (Section 35 2.2) and have job security and protections moving forward.

Finally, while Alpine has offered employment to the majority of the previous Dexterra workers, with your union, we will all fight to make sure no workers are left behind. We have created this guide to help workers’ understand the current terms and conditions of your job offer with Alpine and how these working conditions can be improved with a union.

Workers speak up about job security during contract changes

Lourdes

“I worked for Dexterra at Tsawwassen Mills mall and suddenly there was a contract flip. We chose to unionize, so that the new company [Alpine] would have to rehire us. Now our jobs are legally protected no matter how many times the company changes.”

– Lourdes Rumbaoa, Current Alpine Unionized Worker

Stanley

“I worked with Dexterra for 3 years and felt very nervous when I heard the contract would change as we had no guarantees about anything. We unionized with SEIU and the new company [Alpine] had to recognize my seniority and years of service.”

–  Stanley Maranion, Current Alpine Unionized Worker

Solidarity with YVR Janitors

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 If you have questions and concerns, be sure to contact an organizer today!

What are successorship rights?

  • In May 2019, the BC Provincial Government implemented ‘successorship rights’ to protect contracted workers, such as janitors, during a contract change.
  • Successorship rights (Section 35 in the BC Labour Code) only applies to workers at unionized worksites.
  • If the cleaning contract changes at a unionized workplace, the new Employer (successor company) must re-hire all the staff, recognize their seniority, union contract and right to collectively bargain.

FAQ

SEIU Local 2 will fight at the BC Labour Board to win the re-instatement of employees who Alpine has not extended job offers to. If that is not successful, re-instating these workers will be made a priority at the bargaining table.

Alpine is not allowed to terminate you from your unionized Alpine worksite without just cause. At your YVR job, legal freeze provisions have now been activated due to your pending union certification application. This means Alpine cannot make changes to the terms and conditions of your work at YVR. The union and Alpine will most likely meet to discuss the few individuals that fall under this category as soon as the votes are counted.

You don’t pay dues until you negotiate and vote on your union contract. Union dues are 2% of your gross wages (20 cents for every $10 you make). Dues are also tax deductible and will appear on your T4 each year.

Workers have the ultimate decision whether to form a union, not your direct Employer or the Airport Authority. Thousands of workers at YVR are already unionized and the Vancouver Airport Authority deals with multiple unions at YVR on a daily basis.

How does the process work?

Workers sign union cards

When a strong majority are signed up, the cards are filed at the BC Labour Relations Board

The Labour Board orders a vote within 5 business days (the vote is conducted by email during Covid)

50% + 1 of workers vote YES in favour of the union

Win Union

Bargain your union contract

Letter from YVR Committee

The YVR Unions Committee is a group of unions that come together to discuss common issues at YVR and ways to make YVR a better place to work for all workers. Upon learning that janitors are organizing a union with SEIU Local 2, the committee endorsed a solidarity letter for the janitors that you can read here.