Property giant stays clear of cleaners’ wage fight 0
Gavin McGarrigle, UNIFOR BC Area Director speaks at a rally for laid-off workers in Vancouver, B.C. on Thursday October 31, 2013. A cross-country protest for 150 low wage workers being laid off at Pacific Centre Mall gets underway with a Vancouver demonstration outside the company office. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A property giant under fire from a trade union for taking on a contractor paying $1.50 an hour lower than previous wages paid, said Thursday it wasn’t up to them to decide what contracted cleaning workers receive.
Cleaning firm Servantage’s five-year contract with Cadillac Fairview, an owner and manager of retail properties, expires Friday.
Ultan Kampff, spokesman for Cadillac Fairview, which manages Pacific Centre and the HSBC building, among others, said the new contract — which private sector union Unifor said would result in 150 workers laid off — was decided after a proposal process this year. He said eight companies tendered for a cleaning contract to service 11 Vancouver properties.
“It was very transparent, very above-board with our procurement policies,” he said, adding the new contract sought higher quality of service beyond what was previously contracted.
“Cadillac Fairview is not the employer and we do not set wages.”
Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s B.C. area director, said many laid off workers would have to re-apply for their old jobs — under a different contractor — and paid less.
The union held six rallies across Canada Thursday to make its point.
Unifor said existing workers were paid $12 an hour. New workers, it said, will be paid $10.50.
— with files from David P. Ball