Horticultural Workers Network – hort-network
Join the Horticultural Workers Network
What is the Horticultural Workers Network?
The purpose of the Horticultural Workers Network (HWN) is to support and advocate for the needs of horticultural workers. HWN is dedicated to improving the standard of living for employees working in horticulture while building collaborative and cooperative working relationships with horticultural employers.
The Labourers Union, Local 1611, is BC’s Horticultural Workers Union and is the sponsor of this network.
At no cost to you, as a member of the HWN, you will gain the following:
- Invites to network events and meetings
- Free workers’ rights educational opportunities
- Industry research, including wage and benefits comparisons
- Advocacy and government lobbying to improve your standard of living
- Assistance and guidance with enforcing your basic employment rights (Employment Standards, Occupational Health and Safety, Human Rights, & Labour Code)
- Job opportunities during the off-season
Attend a meeting!
The 2023 goals for the HWN are:
- Get 100 members
- Host Quarterly Zoom meetings (Mar, Jun, Sept, Dec)
- Develop action plan with the Network
- Identify ways LiUNA 1611 can support members
- End Goal – Partner with Employers to create an industry standard for wages, benefits and pension.
Count down to reach 100 members
We are at the beginning of building the Horticultural Workers Network (HWN). If you want to get involved, we’d ask you to:
- Sign Up
- Attend a Zoom meeting (Mar, Jun, Sept, Dec)
- Encourage your friends to join
- Get involved
- Make a difference
Sign up now!
Meet the Team
Jes Hardingham is a founding member of the Horticultural Workers Network.
Growing plants and being in nature has always been something Jes has loved, which led her to the Landscaping industry in 2019. In 2020, Jes moved to BC and got a job with Para Space, where she still works as a landscaping maintenance supervisor. Jes is working on her Landscape Horticulturalist Red Seal and is in her 4th apprentice year.
“One thing I noticed was a real lack of recognition of our industry as a true trade, even within the trade itself. I feel that as tradespeople, we deserve to be treated as equals to other trades. This is one reason I wanted to get the HWN up and running. I believe that together we will help guide our industry into a future where we are recognized for the education, passion and ability we all have for this amazing career.”
Before working in landscaping, Jes worked in customer service, where she felt unfulfilled. So when an opportunity arrived to change careers, she jumped on it. “Needless to say, I fell in love with my new career and found my passion!”
Keith Murdoch loves his dog Leeloo and being active in nature, but his passion is fighting injustice in society. Being a natural-born activist, he has been involved with the progressive movement for 20 years and has been active in various actions to improve the standard of living of everyday working people.
Over the years, Keith has been involved with worker lead organizations such as The Retail Action Network, the Worker Solidarity Network and was a founding member of the Whistler Workers Alliance. Keith also was the BC NDP candidate during the 2020 provincial election for the riding of West Vancouver – Sea to Sky.
“I’m excited to help Hort workers discover the power of their collective action. Companies have employer associations like the BCLNA to fight for their interest, but workers have nothing. I’m hoping this Network will be the first step the levelling the playing field. Let’s grow our power together!”
Ben Ger is a worker, renter, and community organizer living in Vancouver, BC. Ben studied for an environmental degree at university. He was frustrated by the lack of respect, good-paying jobs, and job security given to many who work green trades. After being part of the Paraspace organizing drive and hearing workers describe their experience of being treated like “outdoor janitors” rather than skilled tradespeople, Ben decided to dedicate his time to organizing horticultural workers in particular.
Outside of Ben’s work helping build worker power & communities, Ben is passionate about advocating for renters’ rights. Ben is an extrovert who gets his energy from spending time with people. He is excited to help bring workers from across the industry together.
“Workers and renters everywhere deserve more control over their day-to-day lives. It doesn’t make sense that we spend most of our time making money for someone else, especially when we are not treated with respect and paid only a tiny fraction of what we bring to the company. We are always stronger when we come together, so I am honoured to be part of a group that’s trying to do just that.”
About our Sponsor
The Labourers International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 1611 has around 10,000 members in BC and Yukon, and across North America, LiUNA’s membership is over half a million. Their members work in landscaping, construction, services sectors, warehousing, recycling & waste management, healthcare, green energy & beyond.
If you work, then you’re a Labourer, and LiUNA is the Labourers’ union that has the experience, resources and determination to assist you in improving your working life by unionizing.
LiUNA 1611 Members Work at:
LiUNA 1611 Members Work at: