YVR Union

Frontline Janitors at Vancouver International Airport joined SEIU to win much needed job security, protections and bargaining power at work.

Background

On September 17, 2021, janitors at the Vancouver International Airport voted on whether to unionize with SEIU Local 2. An overwhelming 90% voted yes to join the union and will be preparing to begin negotiations in the new year.

The janitors of YVR have now filled out bargaining surveys and the Bargaining Committee has determined the group’s priorities. Bargaining took off in mid-February and is currently underway so stay tuned for updates! The workers began organizing while the contract was still under Dexeterra Group. On October 1, 2021, Alpine took over the majority of the cleaning contract while Dexterra kept part of the contract that deals with sanitizing.

The results of the vote were finally announced on December 17, 2021. The ballots had been sealed for months now because Alpine Building Maintenance Inc raised legal objections at the BC Labour Board. Despite Alpine’s delays and its complete disrespect for the democratic wishes of workers, the results of the vote have only shown the resolve of the workers to win workplace improvements through having the collective power of a union.

With YVR janitors now organized, this is a major step forward for all SEIU members in BC as we will continue fighting collectively to see fairer standards throughout the cleaning industry.

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

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

FAQ

At the bargaining table we always bargain from where we are at. We will not lose anything we currently have as a condition of employment.

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.

Successorship rights (Section 35 in the BC Labour Code) is a law passed in May 2019 that protects unionized contracted workers, such as janitors, during a contract change. If the cleaning contract changes at a unionized worksite, the new Employer (successor company) must re-hire all the staff and recognize their seniority, union contract and right to collective bargaining.

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

Solidarity with YVR Janitors

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.