Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing the increased risk from the pandemic, low wages and no paid sick days. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing the increased risk from the pandemic, low wages and no paid sick days. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Petition to support Uptown Shopping Centre janitors who’ve voted to strike has more than 300 signatures

Union calls on mall management to pressure its contractor to ‘provide workers with a fair deal’

A petition calling for Shape Properties Corporation, the company that manages Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich, to support the mall’s janitors who’ve voted to strike has collected more than 300 signatures since April 27.

Citing low wages, no paid sick days and increased occupational risks amid the pandemic, the janitors who work for Everclean Facility Services – a contractor hired by Uptown management – voted to strike on April 20. Now, a petition is circulating calling for mall management to support the janitors by pressuring their contractor to provide a deal the union feels is fair.

READ ALSO: Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich vote to strike

In June 2020, the Everclean janitors joined the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2 and demanded that their employer provide a living wage and paid sick days. After negotiations stalled, they voted to strike if an agreement couldn’t be reached.

The petition, published on the SEIU Local 2 website a week after the strike vote, asked the community to support the janitors’ request for the mall to take action. As of May 13, 339 individuals had signed.

Assya Moustaqim-Barrette, a spokesperson for the union, explained that the goal is to make the Shape Properties Corporation aware of the power it has over the situation as the contractee. The union has not received a response from mall management.

The petition points to the fact that a strike would leave Uptown without a cleaning staff which could lead to health risks during the pandemic. When asked to comment on the petition and potential strike, a spokesperson for Shape Properties Corporation told Black Press Media that it’s a discussion between their contractor and the Everclean employees, not the mall itself.

READ ALSO: Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

In a statement sent to Black Press Media on May 13, Everclean explained that negotiations with the SEIU Local 2 have been ongoing for nine months and that the two parties have reached agreements on several bargaining items.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to key cost items, SEIU Local 2 has refused to consider the same terms that they have extended to our industry competitors,” the statement read.

Moustaqim-Barrette noted that issues such as paid sick days can’t be compromised and if that’s industry standard, it’s unreasonable. The janitors want to avoid walking off the job but “a strike could technically happen at any time.”

To view the petition, visit justiceforjanitors.ca.


Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Saanich

Just Posted

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Cheyenne, six, Savannah, three, and Jeremiah Sinclair, 8, were out on walk with their mother on June 4 when they discovered the first of several hundred fish that died after bleach leaked into Reay Creek. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Spill in Sidney’s Reay Creek turns into ecological lesson for local children

Federal-provincial investigation ongoing into what appears to be a bleach spill

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read