Huntsville, Ont. – The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU) unanimously adopted a resolution today calling on the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) to end the ongoing exploitation of its retail food service staff by pressuring the contractor that it has hired to enter into a contract that reflects the hospital based nature of the work.

Peterborough Regional Health Centre contracted out its retail food service operations when it moved into its new facility. Retail food staff are paid $11 less per hour than the hospital’s food service workers, have no pension, sick time or guaranteed hours of work and have limited benefits.

“The departed CEO of Peterborough Regional Health Centre made $479,000 last year, although he left the hospital in November 2014. This largesse stands in startling contrast to the situation facing the retail food service staff at PRHC. The hospital has a responsibility to ensure that its contractors do not exploit the women that they hire to do this work,” said Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE.

“We are committed to raising the wages and conditions for these workers over time to the same level as the hospital’s food service staff. The commitments of support that these workers received today will boost their confidence,” said Laurie Hatton, president of CUPE local 1943.

The resolution calls for:

  1. A campaign of escalating pressure on the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, including advertising and protests, to encourage the hospital to pressure the contractor to settle appropriately.
  2. Mobilizing hospital staff from around Ontario, to bolster information picket and strike lines for these workers to help them to achieve a decent collective agreement.
  3. In the event of a strike, an adopt-a-striker program, in which locals will take responsibility to cover the lost wages of a striker for the duration of the strike.

For more information please contact:

Michael Hurley
President OCHU

Laurie Hatton
President CUPE Local 1943

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications