Workers at Mountain Equipment Co-op, Victoria Event Centre vote to join union

Workers at Mountain Equipment Co-op in Victoria have voted in favour of joining a union.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union 1518 said staff at the downtown Victoria store voted “overwhelmingly” in favour, with 58 for the union and 24 against, with two ballots spoiled.

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The Victoria MEC staff, who are seeking better wages and job security, join workers at Vancouver’s flagship store on West Broadway, who joined UFCW 1518 in April.

“In fighting for fairness, we organize workers because everyone deserves safe and respectful working conditions, higher wages, better benefits, job security and fair treatment,” UFCW 1518 President, Kim Novak said in a statement. “We welcome our newest members from MEC, and look forward to providing them with the highest level of representation and will work hard to engage them in the important tasks ahead to help build a strong foundation for new working conditions.”

Meanwhile, workers at the Victoria Event Centre also voted this month to join UFCW 1518, marking what the union says is the first worker-led union certification in Victoria’s hospitality sector in decades. Lack of workplace standards, poor working conditions and sexual harassment were just some of the reasons VEC workers unionized, the union said on its website.

The Victoria Event Centre is operated by the Victoria-Multicultural Society, a non- profit organization that promotes diversity, arts and community through performance and celebration. The venue showcases experimental and emerging artists along with dance parties and festivals for more than 15 years.

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