Unifor Says Doctor’s Refusal to Mediate is Extending Disruption

Unifor workers in Dryden vote overwhelmingly to accept deal
Unifor's Andy Savela explains the position of striking workers at the Port Arthur Medical Clinic
Unifor’s Andy Savela explains the position of striking workers at the Port Arthur Medical Clinic

THUNDER BAY – The Port Arthur Health Centre’s refusal to participate in mediation will extend the disruption to the health services that community members rely on, says Unifor.

“We’re eager to negotiate a resolution that meets the needs of the community and healthcare workers. The union agreed to meet on the dates proposed by the mediator or any other proposed dates,” said Andy Savela, Unifor’s Health Care Director. “However, the employer’s unwillingness to even meet demonstrates a lack of interest in serving patients.”

Yesterday the employer again declined to meet during the dates recommended by a senior mediator at the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

“The strike impacts not only our jobs and the future success of the Centre, but also the care of patients,” said Kari Jefford, President of Local 229, “The employer’s refusal to even meet is disappointing for the workers, but at the same time has only strengthened their solve. They will strike as long as it takes for the Centre to offer just and equitable working conditions.”

The 65 striking workers are fighting for fair wages and job security. Many PAHC workers only make minimum wage and casual employment is the norm at the Centre. Some workers with 15 years seniority have never been offered permanent positions.

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.

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