Cleaners defeat boss union opening door for workers to join SEIU Local 2

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a precedent setting decision, the B.C. Labour Relations Board declared Friday that CLAC’s contract with Best Service Pros is invalid.  

“This is a good day for justice,” exclaimed Roshawn Nicholson, a Best worker from UBC-Okanagan and one of the worker witnesses that attended the hearings.

The cleaning contractor, Best Service Pros, conspired a 10-year sweetheart deal with CLAC, an Employer-friendly ‘union,’ before hiring a single employee, leaving cleaners at four public post-secondary institutions trapped in poverty wages with no power to bargain collectively.

The Board concluded in its decision that “the ratification process was unreasonable, and the ratification process cannot be relied upon to reflect the true wishes of the employees.”

“The tides are finally turning in our favour,” expressed Nadia Khlafa, another worker with Best Service Pros. “CLAC betrayed the workers by underestimating us and making decisions without our consultation. This is a new and exciting chapter for us in our fight to win a real union and a voice at work,” Khlafa added.

The decision however stopped short in finding that Best and CLAC committed an unfair labour practice in conspiring their backroom deal, concluding that there was not sufficient evidence of collusion.

Best still faces over 50 allegations that they committed unfair labour practices during SEIU’s organizing drive, which are still pending before the Board.

After Best Service Pros cleaners at Capilano University organized with SEIU in February 2017, SEIU launched a larger province-wide campaign against Best to organize cleaners at both non-union and CLAC sites.

From the beginning, SEIU has argued that Best and CLAC duped its employees into accepting a 10-year contract in order to ensure price stability for their clients and have continued to collude to deny workers their right to form a real union with SEIU and engage in collective bargaining.

“In order for us workers to be represented in fair manner and for our rights to be enforced, we need a union that is for the workers and we simply were not getting that with CLAC,” Nicholson explained.

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 

Contact Information

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

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