A strike by 60 Salvation Army employees at a downtown shelter has been averted — for now.
“We want the employer to come back to the table,” Larry Rousseau from the Public Service Alliance of Canada told the Sun late Monday.
As of Tuesday, kitchen and maintenance staff as well as social workers at the Booth Centre are in legal strike position.
The union is representing the Booth Centre workers and Rousseau says PSAC is “always looking to make a deal. We settle 97% of our contracts.”
The key issue is wages.
Booth Centre staff earn roughly $2 to $4 less per hour than employees at the Mission and the Shepherds of Good Hope, and they want parity, said Rousseau.
Kitchen and maintenance staff earn $11.50 an hour while social workers take home $18-$19.
“The Salvation Army does not want to see the union take strike action,” said spokesman Michael Maidment.
Last month, 70% of the employees shot down an offer of a 2% wage hike in the first year, 2.5% the next year and 3% in the final year, including a $500 bonus.
Rousseau said some staff at the lower end of the pay scale use food banks.
The Booth Centre is a homeless shelter for men, serving about 150 clients.
But now, the employees don’t have a contract and there’s a chance the Salvation Army could lock the workers out.
Maidment said a contingency plan is in place if there is a strike.
“The safety and security of the clients we serve is of paramount importance to The Salvation Army, which is why we will continue to meet the needs of our clients,” said Maidment.
In 1997, Booth Centre employees walked off the job seeking equal pay with Sally Ann workers in other cities such as Toronto and Kingston.
I am from vancouver and i wanted to say that the Salvation Army don’t have a very good record when it comes to the working class.The salvation Army was started in 1865 in England to try and prevent workers from fighting against the gov. for better working and living conditions at the time.The normal working day in England at the time was 10 hrs.a day.The working condition were terrible.The 8hr. working day never came into been till the 1880s.The working class of England had to fight for this and the gov. and the employers didn’t want to emprove the conditions of the workers.The Salvation Army and other religious organizations wants the workers to be satisfied with wath they got.In other words they wants the workers to be slaves.
The workers these days need to get support for their fight against the gov.and employers for better working and living conditions.Their not going to get the support from the Salvation Army or any other religious org.Its the unions that will get the workers what they need.