PRESS RELEASE: LNG Janitors Vote to Strike as Holiday Season Looms
Industrial janitors are ready to walk off from LNG Canada camp in Kitimat over broken promises and poor health and safety protections during the pandemic
For Immediate Release:
Dec. 21, 2020
Kitimat, British Columbia — LNG Canada industrial janitors have overwhelmingly voted by 84% in favour of a strike. Frustrated with the lack of progress in contract negotiations with subcontractor Dexterra over poor health and safety protections and broken promises at the LNG site, the workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, are preparing to strike.
LNG janitors work on the frontlines in construction sites surrounded by heavy machinery, cleaning workcamps staffed by hundreds of other LNG workers. They are among the lowest paid workers on the LNG site. Janitors have not been provided with a living wage, adequate staffing levels, fair workloads, and enough health and safety equipment to protect against COVID-19 until recently. Janitors have attempted to work through these issues at the bargaining table for months. Dexterra’s failure to resolve these issues have prompted janitors to vote in favour of strike action.
Gary Hill, LNG janitor: “Many of the janitors are First Nations who came to LNG because of promises of good jobs. But LNG Canada broke that promise. British Columbians, particularly Indigenous workers, deserve more from this $40 billion project.” He continues: We’ve been trying to negotiate in good faith with Dexterra since June, but they’ve left us with no other option than to consider a strike. I support my three daughters and am trying to keep up with the high cost of rent. True reconciliation means providing jobs that pay a living wage. With strong support from our families and communities, we’re determined to strike for as long as it takes if the company refuses to work with us.”
LNG janitors unionized with UNITE HERE Local 40 this past June; they are in bargaining for a first contract.
Contact: Stephanie Fung, 604-928-7356, email@example.com
UNITE HERE Local 40 is a labour union representing workers in the hotel, food service and airport industries throughout British Columbia. Local 40 is affiliated with UNITE HERE Canada. Learn more at UniteHereLocal40.org.