Food service workers at the Victoria International Airport participate in a demonstration Nov. 14 to bring attention to contract negotiations that have now lasted more than a year-and-a-half with their employer, Compass Group Canada. (Kristyn Anthony/News staff)

Company employing Victoria airport workers responds to demonstration

Food service workers rallied Wednesday to draw attention to long-running negotiations with employer, Compass Group Canada

In response to a demonstration Wednesday by food service workers at the Victoria International Airport, the company who employs those asking for better wages and job stability, has released a statement to Black Press Media.

Stephanie Baxter, director of corporate communications for Compass Group Canada said the current offer presented to employees, “includes wage increases, a signing bonus, and a minimum wage adjustment.”

However, Baxter also said another negotiation session is scheduled to take place in two weeks time.

“We have also worked with a Labour Relations Board appointed mediator and are committed to continuing to work through the bargaining process,” Baxter said.

RELATED: Food service workers at Victoria airport protest for the second time in four months

Negotiations between Compass and their employees, represented by UNITE HERE Local 40, began in June 2017 and continue to drag on. A group of food service workers demonstrated at the airport Wednesday, for the second time in four months, to bring awareness to the stalemate.

Because Compass is contracted by the Victoria Airport Authority to provide food service at the airport, the union wants the VAA to speak with Compass as well, because it does not guarantee jobs security should the VAA choose not to renew it.

RELATED: Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Mark Atkins, lead cook at the airport restaurant Spinnakers On The Fly, said the group has reached out to VAA multiple times with no response.

Rod Hunchak, director of business development and community relations with the VAA, said Wednesday, that it would be “inappropriate” for the VAA to engage directly with the workers as the contract the company has with Compass to deliver food services at the airport is between the two parties only.

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