Justice for Janitors



Justice for Janitors

May 26, 2014 08:00 ET

Media Advisory: Evripos Cleaners Going to the PWGSC Offices Looking for Response

Janitors delivering 500 signed postcards & worker petitions to Diane Finley, Minister of PWGSC, after earlier correspondence goes unanswered.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 26, 2014) - Cleaners employed by Evripos Janitorial Limited at various buildings in Ottawa linked to the federal government will be joined by supporters in a rally.

A delegation will depart from the rally to deliver 500 signed postcards and worker petitions to Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

WHAT: Rally & Delegation

WHEN: Tuesday May 27 @ 11:30 AM

WHERE: PWGSC Office @ 11 Laurier Street, Gatineau, QC

SPEAKER LIST:

  • Larry Rousseau
    Regional Executive Vice-President (National Capital Region)
    Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Evripos employee at Tunney's Pasture
  • Evripos employee replaced by subcontractor at Montreal Rd.

On May 8, 2014, Pat Martin, NDP Critic for PWGSC, wrote to Diane Finley on behalf of the workers raising concern about what had happened to the workers but the correspondence to her office has gone unanswered.

"To ignore this situation is to diminish their fight for justice and equality," wrote Martin. "Public buildings in the federal jurisdictions should be setting the standard for fair compensation and working conditions."

Background

Evripos was awarded the contract to provide cleaning services at 700 Montreal Road effective April 1, 2014. 700 Montreal Road is owned by the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation and is managed by SNC Lavalin.

In March, the workers at 700 Montreal sent a petition to Evripos and to the Property Manager, SNC Lavalin, requesting that Evripos retain them as employees and recognize their union. Evripos replaced 15 of the 17 unionized workers with subcontractors at the location.

On March 27, 2014, the union filed an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint against Evripos with the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The complaint alleges that the decision by Evripos not to retain the majority of unionized employees at 700 Montreal was intended to interfere with these employee's right to form a union.

In its response to the complaint, Evripos asserts that its actions at 700 Montreal Road were a result of its decision to subcontract the work at the location. Under the service agreement with SNC Lavalin, Evripos is required to obtain written permission from SNC Lavalin prior to subcontracting any work at this location.

On April 17, 2014, the Union wrote to Charles Rate, President of SNC Lavalin O&M asking the following question:

"It is my understanding that the agreement between SNC-Lavalin and Evripos requires the supplier to obtain written approval prior to using subcontractors. Therefore, the statements by Evripos would suggest that SNC-Lavalin had prior knowledge of the supplier's intention to refuse employment to unionized cleaners at 700 Montreal and gave its consent. I would ask that you please clarify if such approval to use subcontractors was granted to Evripos prior to April 1, 2014."

On May 8, 2014, Pat Martin, NDP Critic for PWGSC, wrote Diane Finley, Minister of PWGSC, to pose the same question, but neither SNC Lavalin nor the Honourable Diane Finley have responded.

Evripos also employs over 50 workers at Tunney's Pasture in Ottawa (a federal government complex) and are covered by a collective agreement.

Negotiations broke down in March after less than 15 minutes when Evripos took the position that they would only sign a collective agreement that contained no benefits and a five year wage freeze.

For more information, please visit www.EyeonEvripos.org

The Service Employees International Union is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with 100,000 workers in Canada and two million workers across Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

Contact Information

  • English - Diego Mendez 416-476-7762
    French - Alain Lajoie 613-868-9759