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(Barrie) Calling it one of the most despicable and underhanded acts she has ever witnessed, a union representative for 180 nursing home employees at Arbor Living Centre in Newmarket says they have effectively been fired by fax.

CUPE National Rep. Diana Broadbent says the fax was sent to her office, after office hours, on the Friday evening of a long weekend. Says Broadbent, this nursing home has been around this community for a very long time and these employees and by virtue of this act, the residents themselves - are being treated like cattle.

Arbor Living Centre had been owned by two numbered companies. While it is currently in receivership, there were offers coming in to take over the facility.

Its even been scheduled for a re-build, says Broadbent. She blames the Receiver for handling the situation in a heavy-handed and uncalled for manner.

CUPE will be filing an unfair labour practice charge against the nursing home first thing tomorrow (October 10). It is the unions position that these workers have Successor Rights under the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA), and we fully intend on pursuing those rights, says Broadbent.

The 180 unionized employees are members of CUPE Local 2040. There are 150 beds at Arbor Living Centre. Some of the health care workers have been at the facility for over 20 years.

Arbor Living Centre is located at 581 Davis Drive in Newmarket

The termination notice indicates that the workers are now engaged on a week by week basis. It also says the Receiver may terminate their engagement by providing them with a minimum one weeks notice.

I thought I had seen just about everything, says Broadbent, but this really takes the cake for callousness.

For information:
Diana Broadbent, CUPE National Rep.
(705) 739-3510 (h)
(705) 722-7387 (o)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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