Protest shows opposition to contract cleaners

Photo by Mynt Marsellus
Photo by Mynt Marsellus

Students, staff and faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University were surprised to see a group of protestors along University Avenue early Tuesday morning.

The group, holding signs that said, “No! Contracting out at WLU,” walked down the street in protest of having contract cleaners at the newly named Lazaridis School of Business and Economics building.

“The new building across the street here, it used to be [St. Michael campus], it used to be our work in there, now they’ve put up this new building and it should be, at least I would have to say five custodial jobs that they should be hiring for that would give five people in this community good paying jobs,” said protestor Roger Collison.

Collison, an employee of Laurier, believed the new building is rightfully theirs, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 926 collective agreement.

“They’re violating that collective agreement, so it’s just a protest and a campaign to show them that we want to make the people aware of what’s going on,” Collison explained.

Collison continued to say it’s a “battle around contract workers,” adding the contract company exploits new people to Canada by having them work for minimum wage.

“I know the company’s got to make money too, but not on the backs of other people.”

Collison and the protest group believed university students would not get the same experience with contract cleaners as with the full-time custodians.

“We love the students and there’s another thing too, not anything against the contract cleaners but we are paid by Wilfrid Laurier so this means a lot to us,” Collison continued. “Sometimes I’m more of a parent than a custodian, and the kids learn to trust us so it’s putting back to the university and to the kids.”



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