LNG janitors reach new agreement with contractors, get pay increase
Back in December, janitors at LNG Canada's Kitimat site voted in favour of going on strike to push for increased wages and more safety equipment to protect themselves from COVID-19.
A strike never officially happened. But today, the janitor's union, Unite Here Local 40, announced that they have ratified a new agreement with their contractors, Gitxaala Horizon North, who are connected to Dexterra.
According to a press release from the union, the new contract includes higher wages, greater health care benefits, and more health and safety protections.
It also says that Gitxaala Horizon North has agreed to hire First Nations people as 30 per cent of their workforce.
Unite Here Local 40 communications specialist Stephanie Fung said that the wage increase is one of the most important parts of the new contract. Whereas the janitors previously made $17.50 dollars an hour, they'll now be making $23 dollars an hour.
“They’re extremely happy now that they have extra dollars in their pockets. They can pay for food, for rent – they can better support their families. So they’re very happy about this.”
Gary Hill is an industrial janitor at LNG Canada's Kitimat Site. He said that he's happy with the final contract and that he's looking forward to the wage increase.
“It’ll make life a little bit more easier, you know, keeping up with the rent and all that stuff. It’s just gonna make life less stressful”
He added that the creation of the new contract was due in part to the collective efforts of other janitors working together.
“If it wasn’t for everybody stepping forward and fighting for what we deserve, we wouldn’t be here talking right now with a victory under our belt.”