THUNDER BAY – After a nearly three-week-long strike over better working conditions, including a demand to end to precarious work contracts and insufficient compensation, Unifor workers reject the Port Arthur Health Centre final offer.
“It is disheartening that this employer, the Port Arthur Health Center, thinks that women workers, some of whom have been at the Centre for decades, are not worthy of decent wages and job security,” said Kari Jefford, President of Unifor Local 229.
In another attempt to push an unreasonable deal the employer put forward a sub-standard final offer, which was rejected by the workers with a vote of 94 percent on April 27. The 65 workers at the Centre, represented by Unifor Local 229, have been on strike since April 9.
The union delivered a message to the employer that the only way to end the strike is for the employer to sit down and negotiate a reasonable deal with decent wages and job security for the workers. Two-thirds of the women working at the Centre are casual workers, meaning that the workers have no guaranteed hours of work from week to week, despite the obvious need for the employees and the employer’s ability to pay. Many of the workers face precarious and unstable economic situation and are forced to have multiple jobs to maintain a decent standard of living.
“The workers at Port Arthur Health Centre are standing together to gain respect and dignity and Unifor is committed to ensuring they get it,” said Andy Savela, Director of Health Care at Unifor. “This is about decent work for women and it’s about recognizing the value of the work these women do.”
Andy Savela Interview from April 10
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.