TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Unifor members rallied across Canada
today in support of office cleaners in Vancouver and to push for living
wages for all workers.
"A crime against workers in Vancouver is a crime against workers here in
Toronto and right across the country," Unifor National President Jerry
Dias told a noon rally outside Toronto's TD Centre in the heart of the
city's financial district.
Dias pledged to take on Cadillac Fairview and others exploiting low wage
contract workers. That effort has already begun, with Unifor's Good
Jobs Revolution to push for decent jobs in Canada and a sustainable
future for our young people. Dias pledged to host a Good Jobs Summit
next year, bringing all stakeholders together to find solutions to the
current jobs crisis.
"We stand for all contract and precarious workers," Dias told the rally.
The TD Centre is owned by Cadillac Fairview, which also owns the
Waterfront and Pacific Centre buildings in Vancouver, where 150
cleaners are being thrown out of work today in favour of a cheaper
The cleaners - members of Unifor Local 3000 - make $12.50 an hour, and
are losing their jobs to a contractor paying as little as $10.50 an
hour, with few benefits. A living wage in Vancouver has been pegged at
$19.92 an hour, according to a recent report by the Canadian Centre for
The cleaners and supporters also planned a noon rally outside Cadillac
Fairview's corporate offices in Vancouver today demanding that the
company reverse its decision.
"Cadillac Fairview can afford to pay these workers a living wage," said
BC Area Director Gavin McGarrigle, noting that the company reported a
$1-billion profit last year.
Rallies were also held outside Cadillac Fairview buildings in Calgary
(Chinook Centre), Winnipeg (Polo Park Shopping Centre), Ottawa (234
Laurier Ave. West) and Kitchener (Fairview Park Mall).
Beyond the rallies, Cadillac Fairview is facing other pressure to treat
the cleaners fairly. In a letter to Dias, Ontario Teachers' Federation
President Julie Pauletig pledged to work with the powerful Ontario
Teachers' Pension Plan, which owns shares in Cadillac Fairview, to push
the company to pay its cleaners a living wage.
"We are all troubled by the diminishing wages for workers that are
already the lowest paid," Pauletig wrote.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 300,000 workers in every sector of the Canadian Economy.
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 with the merger of the
Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers
Vancouver, 609 Granville St.
Calgary, Chinook Centre, 6455 Macleod Trail SW
Winnipeg, Polo Park Shopping Centre, 1485 Portage Ave.
Toronto, TD Centre, , 66 Wellington St. West
Ottawa, 234 Laurier Ave. West
Kitchener, Fairview Park Mall, 2960 Kingsway Dr.
For further information:
Vancouver: BC Area Director Gavin McGarrigle (cell) 778-668-6455
Calgary: Alberta Area Director Don Boucher (cell) 780-920-1892
Winnipeg: Winnipeg Area Director Ken Stuart (cell) 204-333-7969
Ottawa: Eastern Ontario Area Director Harry Ghadban (cell) 613-769-7844
Toronto: GTA Director Naureen Rizvi (cell) 647-233-2855
Kitchener: Kitchener Area Director Bill Gibson (cell) 519-589-6390
Unifor Communications Stuart Laidlaw (cell) 647-385-4054