[su_icon_text icon=”icon: quote-left” icon_color=”#FFFFFF” color=”#FFFFFF”]Our work as janitors is important because they can’t control the spread of the virus without us.[/su_icon_text]
– Janitor, Vancouver
[su_icon_text color=”#333333″ icon=”icon: arrow-circle-left” icon_color=”#333333″ icon_size=”24″ url=”https://www.justiceforjanitors.ca/the-union-difference/janitors-speak-out/” class=””]Back[/su_icon_text]
Luisito Tadlip works as a janitor at British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver. Originally from Mindanao in the Phillipines, he moved to Vancouver in 2010. To Luisito, coming to Canada meant opportunity.
Luisito lives in a small home with his wife along with their son and daughter-in-law. The latter two lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic and are now depending on him and his wife financially.
“We almost couldn’t pay our rent this month,” he says. “If it goes on like this, I don’t know what will happen to us. We live pay cheque to pay cheque.”
Luisito and his wife both work as janitors and are also at risk of getting laid off. But even with employment, they are barely making it.
[su_quote]Everybody who works in cleaning is an immigrant, he says. The companies give us as little as they can. We keep everything clean but are still looked down upon.[/su_quote]
Luisito is a strong supporter of the Invisible to Essential campaign.
[su_quote]Our work as janitors is important because they can’t control the spread of the virus without us, he says. Virus or no virus, we keep everything clean.[/su_quote]
He believes property managers, building owners and the cleaning companies need to work “hand-in-hand” to provide everyone with essential pay and to promise that it doesn’t go back down after the fear of Covid-19 is gone.
“We come to work putting ourselves at risk; even taking transit is risky,” says Luisito. “We have to take care of ourselves.”
Now they are provided personal protective equipment, but this wasn’t always the case. “There were so many things happening to us before we had a union,” he says. “If you don’t have a union it’s very easy for an employer to abuse you. Now we feel a little better.”
[su_quote]I’m happy we are fighting for this $2 increase with our union because what we get is not enough.[/su_quote]