Union Wins Wage Increase for All MEC Locations in British Columbia

Advocacy by UFCW 1518 pushes improvements for both unionized and non-unionized workers

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The union that organized Mountain Equipment Co-op workers in Vancouver and Victoria has won improvements for all MEC employees across British Columbia.

"Because workers at MEC in Vancouver and Victoria voted to join a union, employees in all BC locations will receive another wage increase effective immediately," said UFCW 1518 President Kim Novak.

After negotiations for a first collective agreement between UFCW 1518 and MEC stalled late last year, the parties entered mediation. Yesterday, the mediator imposed a first collective agreement that included a wage hike for all employees, in the majority of cases up to 6%.

"We are very proud of the work of our bargaining committee as well as the commitment and solidarity of MEC workers," said President Novak. And this isn’t the first time that the union’s advocacy paid off for all MEC staff – not just those who belong to UFCW 1518, she added. "Barely two weeks after workers at the Vancouver flagship location voted to join our union, MEC announced wage increases to all MEC employees across Canada. That’s power."

UFCW 1518 Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson said the union is pleased to have a first contract in effect for the Victoria and Vancouver locations. "Not only did our members keep the benefits they had, they have gained solid improvements. And MEC has implemented many of the same improvements, including a wage increase, to all MEC locations in BC – despite ongoing statements to the public crying the financial blues."

Workers at the MEC Vancouver location voted to join UFCW 1518 last August and while they were in negotiations for a first collective agreement, workers at the Victoria location also voted to join the union. This led to a better outcome for all staff at the bargaining table, Secretary-Treasurer Johnson commented.

"There is strength in numbers. And MEC certainly took notice when a second location voted to join our union – that’s why our members got the wage increase that they did," he said. "We look forward to the opportunity to represent MEC staff in all BC locations so that workers continue to see even more gains along with the continued success of MEC in our province!"

UFCW Local 1518 represents 24,000 members working in the community health, service and hospitality, retail, industrial, and professional sectors across BC.

Kate Milberry
Press Secretary
UFCW Local 1518