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Food service workers walk off the job at Vancouver airport for ‘one-day strike’

June 27, 2024
The Canadian Press

The union representing food service workers at Vancouver International Airport says more than 200 have walked off the job to push for higher wages.

A statement from Unite Here Local 40 says the workers are employed by SSP America, which operates more than a dozen food outlets at the airport.

It says food attendants, servers, cooks, dishwashers and other workers set up picket lines at 4:30 a.m. for what’s described as a “one-day strike action.”

The move ahead of the Canada Day long weekend comes after the union says workers turned down SSP’s latest offer as they negotiate their first collective agreement.

A statement from the company says SSP Canada has “negotiated in good faith,” it’s “proud of the offer” it put on the table, and it hopes the parties can successfully conclude the negotiations as soon as possible.

Unite Here Local 40 says airport concession workers are among the lowest-paid staff at the airport and many of them are immigrant women.

The airport is a certified living-wage employer, but the union says the average hourly wage for concession staff is $7.41 less than the $25.68 calculated by Living Wage for Families B.C. That’s benchmark the airport authority says it uses.


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