Workers at WISH Drop-in Centre Society voted overwhelmingly on Monday to become members of CUPE 1936. WISH works to improve the health, safety, and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade.

“The organizing drive brought staff together into a cohesive group who are now in a position to affect real change at work,” said CUPE 1936 Acting Vice President Lee Ann Lalli.

Lalli warmly welcomed CUPE 1936’s newest members and is looking forward to working with them.

“Our union gives members a voice on the job, job security, recognition for the work they do, and ensures their health and safety,” said Lalli. “We are delighted that these workers are now part of Local 1936.”

Workers at WISH recognize that program participants face particular barriers when accessing support or services such as resources not being available when required (e.g. overnight hours), dismissive treatment, and even open hostility. WISH workers provide critical non-judgmental services to a marginalized population and work closely and in collaboration with other women-serving organizations in the Downtown Eastside.

CUPE 1936 represents approximately 1500 members, the great majority of which are women, who provide a variety of services in the community social services sector. They have been joined by 47 workers from WISH.