SEIU Local 2: Abbotsford Airport cleaners amongst workers who may go on strike

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dozens of cleaners, including workers at Abbotsford International Airport, may be going on strike. The cleaners, members of the Service Employees International Union Local 2, are employed by the cleaning contractor, Dexterra Group.

Over 97% of the cleaners voted to strike at six properties across Lower Mainland, British Columbia. Dexterra was notified of the strike vote yesterday.

“Who can live on these wages?” asked Dawn Shannon, a member of the bargaining committee that works at the airport. She’s worked for Dexterra for eight years.

The janitors, who haven’t seen a raise since January 1, 2023, say Dexterra is unwilling to provide increases that keep up with the cost of living. Most of the cleaners are paid $17.42 or $18.20 per hour, depending on their classification. Most of the airport workers are earning slightly more at $18.50 – however Dexterra is refusing to offer them a raise at all.

Last year, over 2,500 SEIU janitors ratified a citywide collective agreement with eight of the largest cleaning contractors in the city. They saw their wages increase by $1.20 last summer and will see another $1.10 in the summer of 2024. Workers say Dexterra isn’t coming close to those figures.

A total of 80 cleaners are prepared to strike at Abbotsford Airport, the Harbour Centre, the Canada Revenue building on Terminal Ave., MDA Building on Commerce Pkwy in Richmond, and MacArthur Glenn Outlet Mall, also in Richmond. Cleaners at Capilano Mall in North Vancouver also unanimously voted to strike on Saturday – their contract expired more than eight months ago.

“Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities in the world,” said Lognadan Lognadan, who has worked at the Canada Revenue building in downtown Vancouver for five years. The property is owned by Concert Properties.

2023 was a record-breaking year for passenger volume at the airport. According to airport officials, the final number of passengers for 2023 was 1,275,484.i

Dexterra operates across Canada and in the U.S. and is a publicly traded company on the TSX. According to their website they have nearly 10,000 employees and service 60 million square feet of real estate.

SEIU Local 2 represents 20,000 workers in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Alberta. We are proud members of the largest, fastest growing and most dynamic union in North America.

Media Contact
Diego Mendez | 416-476-7762