Vancouver, BC – Janitors at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre won their jobs back after a reconsideration panel at the British Columbia Labour Relations Board ruled in favour of the three cleaners. It has been over a year since the workers were unfairly terminated before being recalled back to work this month.
Among those who had been offered their job back is Crystal Moorman, who has worked at the mall for 4 years. “When Dexterra lost the contract at Sevenoaks, the new company did not offer me my job back. This was not fair, but the union stepped in and helped us fight for our jobs back.”
Last March 2021, janitors at the Morgaurd managed shopping centre unionized with SEIU Local 2 prior to a change in the company contracted to provide cleaning services. The janitors unionized as employees of Dexterra Group upon learning that the contract had been awarded to Everclean Facility Services.
Everclean had refused to re-hire all the workers at the shopping centre when they took over the contract from Dexterra. SEIU Local 2 brought forward a complaint to the BC Labour Board stating that not offering work to the previous Dexterra employees violates the intent of the new successorship legislation In July of 2019, changes to the BC Labour Code brought in Successorship Rights for contracted workers including janitors. This means that unionized contracted employees will be carried over to the new company in the event of a contract “flip”, along with the seniority and rights accrued through collective bargaining with the previous contractor.
While Everclean acknowledged a Successorship had taken place, they refused to rehire all of the existing workforce. In an initial decision, the BC Board sided with Everclean, but after a lengthy reconsideration process, a panel of Chairs at the Board ruled that the initial decision was not in keeping with the express purpose of the legislative changes.
“We won our case thanks to the power we have by joining a union as I could not have done this on my own. I’m happy to go back to work because I really enjoy working with my co-workers and the friendly environment at the mall.”
This precedent setting decision will undoubtedly help protect the jobs of thousands of unionized contracted workers in BC going forward.
You can read the full decision here.