Cleaning Company Comes Under Scrutiny for Alleged Labour Violations and Explosive Testimony by Temporary Foreign Worker
Posted by J4J@L2 on November 12, 2019
EyeonAlpine.org launched to expose Alpine Building Maintenance employment practices
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–Alpine Building Maintenance Inc. has come under the scrutiny of the labour community and numerous community leaders for alleged violations in the Vancouver area after the story of one Temporary Foreign Worker went public over the Remembrance Day long weekend.
The Service Employees International Union launched the website Tuesday, which tracks several alleged labour violations against the large national janitorial contractor. The website also includes a seven-minute video testimony from Ravinder Singh about the various types of abuse he faced as a temporary foreign worker with Alpine, and ends with a strong message for other abused workers to come forward to share their experiences.
Mr. Singh’s Employment Standard Act (ESA) complaints filed at the Ministry of Labour, states that he had to pay $15,000 in cash to immigration consultants for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and employer-specific work permit for him to work at Alpine Building Maintenance.
The ESA complaint alleges that while working at Alpine, Ravinder Singh and other workers experienced poor working conditions and were not paid for all their hours of work.
Moreover, it’s alleged that Mr. Singh and other workers are constantly threatened, intimidated and insulted by Satnam Johal, the founder of Alpine and father of Alpine’s current CEO.
According to the complaint, Mr. Johal has threatened that he would take away Mr. Singh and others’ work permits if they do not follow instructions or if they complain about the working conditions.
“I was deeply troubled to learn of allegations that contractors are subjecting migrant workers to verbal threats, intimidation, false promises of permanent residency, egregious fees from consultants, and wide-spread Employment Standards Act violations including wage theft,” said recently re-elected MP Vancouver-Kingsway Don Davies. “We cannot allow these practices to continue.”
In addition to the Employment Standard Act (ESA) complaints, numerous Unfair Labour Practice complaints have been filed against Alpine at the BC Labour Relations Board. The ULP complaints allege there has been a pattern of surveillance, intimidation and coercion by the management team of Alpine Building Maintenance directed at their employees attempting to unionize.
The Service Employees International Union, Local 2 represents over 17,000 workers across Canada including over 10,000 workers in the janitorial sector. The goals of SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaign is to organize janitors across a city or market, so together, workers can raise standards in the cleaning sector and reverse the race to the bottom.
For more information, please visit www.EyeonAlpine.org