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GM Place workers set to rally for job conditions

Hundreds of GM Place workers are expected to rally tomorrow outside The Garage to ask for better working conditions.

Hundreds of GM Place workers are expected to rally tomorrow outside The Garage to ask for better working conditions.

Food service workers have been without a contract since December and some say the uncertainty of not knowing whether they’ll have work during the 2010 Olympics is “scary.”

Adoracion Kabyn, a 12-year employee, said she’s looking for better wages and job security.

“I’m getting $11.84 as a cook,” Kabyn said. “They used to have seven cooks before, then they cut, cut, cut and we now work with three.”

“This is my only job.”

Michelle Travis, with the B.C. Hotel Workers and Food Services Workers Union, said a rally attended by about 185 employees was held inside GM Place before Vancouver’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 7.

“There are about 500 female workers and they only have about 250 lockers,” Travis said. “They end up having to change in each other’s space or leaving their belongings unlocked.”

The roughly 250 male employees each have a locker.

Kabyn said she feels disrespected.

“If they leave the (locker) door open and you’re not looking it hits you in the face,” she said, adding that when she left her boots unlocked they were stolen.

Kristine Grow, a spokesperson for Aramark, the company that operates the concessions at GM Place, said they are “working tirelessly” to reach a new agreement.

“The locker room issue is something we’re looking to fix,” she said.

She added that she doesn’t know if Aramark will be the food service provider for the Vancouver Games.

“It’ll be up to the Olympic committee to decide that.”

 
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