At a campaign stop in
housekeeping for Sodexo, Aramark and Compass (the Big 3) – presented Gordon
Campbell with 15,000 signatures calling on government and its health
authorities to take responsibility for the wages and working conditions
provided by their contractors.
approached the crowd, TV and newspaper reporters zeroed in on the workers and
their banners that read “work should lift you out of poverty, not keep you
there” and “Mr. Premier, we have 15,000 signatures for government action on
living wages and clean, safe hospitals.”
Juvelita Dacpano, a housekeeper working for Aramark at UBC
hospital, then made her way through the throng of people, placed herself in
presented him with a box of more than 15,000 petition signatures.
When told that the petitions called on government to be
accountable for the wages and working conditions needed for clean, safe
said, “I agree with you.”
promised to keep up the pressure on Campbell and other Liberal candidates, as
the provincial election campaign continues.
The petitions are part of an ongoing campaign, supported by
allies from community, labour and faith-based organizations. Signatures were
gathered during many hours of work by members employed by the Big 3 and in the
work in housekeeping and dietary services are currently in negotiations with Sodexo,
Aramark and Compass. The majority of workers in this sector earn $13.05 an
hour, with no pension plan, between six and 10 sick days per year, and few
benefits. At the same time, Sodexo, Aramark and Compass receive hundreds of
millions of dollars in government contracts.
Over the past year, surveys of
contractor-employed support services workers in five hospitals found that 30 to
50 per cent hold more than one job, while others face the stress of choosing
between food and heat, or struggling to afford basics for their kids like
school field trips.