Cleaners at Vancouver Int’l Airport ratify first contract, get Living Wages

The three-year deal with Dexterra includes a nearly 8.5% wage increase over the term of the agreement.

Janitors employed by Dexterra at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) overwhelmingly ratified their first Collective Bargaining Agreement. The ballots were counted late Thursday after the overnight shift cast their ballots.

The three-year deal includes a nearly 8.5% wage increase over the term of the agreement and keeps workers at par with the current Living Wage. The prevalent Living Wage in Vancouver is $20.52 per hour (including benefits) and is determined by the Living Wage for Families BC.

“We are all very happy with this outcome and looking forward to getting our wage increase,” said Teresita Garano, a member of the bargaining committee. “For too long, we worked at the airport for a little above minimum wage, which was not enough to survive. A living wage will be a big help to me and my co-workers,” she added. Teresita has worked with Dexterra for over seven years.

The contract also includes four paid personal days – in addition to the five legislated sick days – and an Employer-paid health and dental benefit plan.

Dexterra held the contract at YVR for at least 15 years. The cleaners at the airport began to organize a union with SEIU Local 2 in the summer of 2021.  However, last October, Alpine Building Maintenance took over the majority of the cleaning work at YVR under a partial successorship. Over 170 Alpine janitors ratified their first contract in July. Now the remaining 26 airport cleaners, who have continued working for Dexterra, have won the same improvements.

“Organizing was difficult, but I am so happy that we won our union and now have our union contract,” said Abdul Shaik, who has been working with Dexterra at YVR for over four years. “It’s great that we won wage increases, but the most important thing is having protection and a voice at work.”

Dexterra is a large multi-national janitorial contractor that cleans millions of square feet across British Columbia.

Dexterra janitors at Vancouver International Airport