BCIT cleaners win vote to join SEIU Local 2 after defeating boss ‘union’

Victory at BCIT boosts resolve of cleaners at post-secondary campuses seeking to join SEIU’s Justice for Janitors movement

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cleaners at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) celebrate a huge win in forming their union with the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) just one week after the BC Labour Relations Board declared CLAC’s contract with the cleaning contractor, Best Service Pros invalid.

SEIU Local 2 had challenged the contract, arguing that Best Service Pros, conspired to make a 10-year backroom deal with the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), a known Employer-sided ‘union,’ and imposed the contract on the workers.

“Wow, we feel so happy today and are truly celebrating,” exclaimed Yolanda Florendo, a Best worker that led the union drive at BCIT and was subject to various forms of intimidation by the Employer and CLAC. “Despite all the games and rumors spread by CLAC and Best to scare us before vote day, we came out victorious in the end.”

The BCIT win was welcomed by other Best Service Pros cleaners currently organizing with SEIU at Langara College, UBC-Okanagan, and the Vancouver Community College.

“It’s about time to get united and we are making the right choice with SEIU who are supporting us in our struggle as janitors,” explains Nadia Khlafa, a Best worker at UBC-O. “It’s only a matter of time until we are standing together under one SEIU banner as winners.”

After an 18-month long fight, over 100 cleaners at BCIT will now be joining the Best cleaners at Capilano University, who organized with SEIU in February 2017 and were the first group to resist being trapped in a 10-year CLAC contract.

“We are so happy to hear we are getting stronger and are united in one union,” said Delia Tanza, a Best worker leader at Capilano University. “We fought so long for this and will now have more power as workers to demand better working conditions from our Employer.”
Best still faces over 50 allegations that they committed unfair labour practices during SEIU’s organizing drive, which are pending before the BC Labour Relations Board.

SEIU’s Justice for Janitors is a movement of workers that has successfully organized to improve wages, benefits, and job security for over 7,000 janitors across Canada. SEIU’s goal is to organize all janitors in BC, so together, workers can raise standards in the janitorial sector and reverse the race to the bottom.

For more information, please visit www.bestworkersdeservebetter.com 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0de42e17-8528-4085-9c02-f91065a8c48d

Contact Information

Christine Bro: 778-996-4008, cbro@seiulocal2.ca

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