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Jagmeet Singh to join workers at YVR Friday for living wage rally

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will join airport workers in rallying for a $25 living wage.
YVR workers are rallying for a living wage in the afternoon of Friday, April 19.

Food and retail workers at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will rally outside the airport Friday afternoon to call for a living wage for all workers.

Unite Here Local 40, the union representing non-airport authority workers at YVR, announced a rally would take place at 2 p.m. on April 19 to call on YVR to ensure all employees working at the airport receive a living wage of $25 per hour.

"The Vancouver Airport Authority is a certified Living Wage Employer, yet over a thousand contracted food service, retail, and other workers at the airport are not covered by their living wage policy, with many earning minimum wage or just above," reads a media release from Unite Here Local 40.

The union claims 78 per cent of YVR workers who do not make a living wage are women, with most being immigrants, while airport authority staff who do earn a living wage are mostly male and 65 per cent white.

Yesterday, the airport was crowned best airport in North America by the Skytrax Airport Awards for the 14th time.

Last month, 85 per cent of more than 200 food service workers at the airport voted in favour of a strike after months of bargaining with their employer SSP Canada Food Services.

According to the union, the average food service wage at YVR is $18.27. Workers have also had to pay their transit costs outside Canada Line hours since YVR ended its transit reimbursement program on Feb. 1.

Although SSP Canada used to reimburse staff for transit, the program was cancelled when YVR implemented its own program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A petition signed by almost 2,000 airport workers will also be delivered to YVR during tomorrow's rally.

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