Workers at Unifirst Canada in Langley, BC, voted 93% earlier this week to end their four-week strike and ratify a new three-year contract. Workers secured an inflation-beating 10% raise in the first year, a 2% raise in the second, and a 3% raise in the third. Drivers at the company also secured bonuses.   

“I would like to congratulate Unifirst workers, their bargaining committee, and their local union on this new collective agreement. Their victory shows the power of solidarity and unity in dealing with a challenge like inflation, and the importance of standing up for what’s right,” declared the president of Teamsters Canada, François Laporte. 

Staff at the company are members of Teamsters Local Union 213. They clean uniforms and workwear in a facility that can sometimes reach 40°C. Drivers then deliver them to major employers like Costco, Canadian Pacific, Pepsi, BC Hydro and more. 

Most of the workers in bargaining unit come from an immigrant background, and almost all of the non-delivery staff are women of colour. Strong and united as members of the Teamsters Union, they were not afraid to fight for a fair deal.    

“Unifirst had to be reminded that our members work hard, make sacrifices, and earn this company a lot of money. We only ever asked to be treated fairly in return. And when that didn’t happen, we went on strike and won a fair raise,” said the secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 213, Tony Santavenere.