Industrial janitors on the LNG Canada Project site in Kitimat have recently voted to strike after they claim they’ve dealt with months of poor health and safety protections on site. (UNITE HERE Local 40 photo)

Industrial janitors on the LNG Canada Project site in Kitimat have recently voted to strike after they claim they’ve dealt with months of poor health and safety protections on site. (UNITE HERE Local 40 photo)

LNG Canada Project site janitors vote to strike

Industrial janitors on the project site are claiming poor health and safety protections

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include statements from LNG Canada and Dexterra.

Industrial janitors at the LNG Canada project site in Kitimat have voted in favour of a strike due to “the lack of progress in contract negotiations with subcontractor Dexterra over poor health and safety protections”.

With an overwhelming 84 per cent vote in-favour of striking, the janitors, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40 union are preparing to strike, according to a recent media release.

“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,” the release said. “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.”

The release added that the janitors have been trying to work through the issues at the bargaining table for months, but that “Dexterra’s failure to resolve these issues have prompted janitors to vote in favour of strike action”.

“Many of the janitors are First Nations who came to LNG because of promises of good jobs. But LNG Canada broke that promise,” LNG janitor Gary Hill said. “British Columbians, particularly Indigenous workers, deserve more from this $40 billion project. 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.”

Dexterra responded shortly after the strike vote was announced, to say that they are continuing negotiations with the UNITE HERE Local 40 janitors and hope to come to a mutually beneficial agreement soon.

“We are aware of the procedural vote in favour of strike action by our janitorial staff working at the LNG Canada site in Kitimat. We continue to bargain in good faith on a new contract with Unite Here Local 40, who represents these employees, including meetings today,” the statement read. “At this time, there are no outstanding health and safety issues being negotiated with respect to this contract. We are optimistic about finding a resolution to the remaining monetary terms that will provide benefit to all parties.”

A statement from an LNG Canada spokesperson also said that “LNG Canada expects employers to prioritize the health and safety of employees, and to treat them with fairness and respect”.

LNG Canada Project site janitors unionized with UNITE HERE Local 40 this past June. They are currently in bargaining for a first contract.

READ MORE: LNG janitors join UNITE HERE Local 40 Union

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Black Press file photo
Fraud scam, car in ditch among weekly Kitimat RCMP report

Kitimat RCMP report from Dec. 18 to 24

(Mountainview Lodge photo)
Santa and Mrs. Claus payed a special visit to the residents at Mountainview Lodge in Kitimat back in December to help raise their spirits during the difficult Christmas season.
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Black Press file photo
Clare’s Corner: Baking the day away

My grandmother was a fantastic baker, and it’s a hobby she’s passed down through generations

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Most Read