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Hamilton–More than 4,000 Hamilton area health care workers will cast union representation ballots on April 18th and 19th. And once the ballots are cast, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents workers at most area hospitals including, St. Peters, St. Josephs, Henderson and Chedoke, is poised to form one mega-health care union.

Were confident the majority of Hamilton health care workers will see the merits of voting for CUPE and the clout that will be afforded them at the bargaining table choosing the largest union in the province to represent them as the Ontario government continues to restructure our health care system.

Over the last five years, CUPEs membership has grown by more than 20,000 members. This at a time when job cuts, in all sectors, has been prevalent. Thats because workers are recognizing that CUPE is a tough militant union that strives for solid wage increases and strong job security language in collective agreements, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of CUPE.

Ryan is Hamilton tomorrow (Thursday, April 12) visiting area hospitals and will hold a press conference at 11:00 a.m. at McMaster University Medical Centre, the Blue Room. Following the press conference, Ryan will tour the hospital and visit The Hamilton General Hospital at 12:45 p.m. and The Henderson Hospital at 2:15 p.m.

There are those, including employers, who would rather see the different bargaining units fragmented and divided between unions. But, I believe Hamilton health care workers will see the benefits of forming one mega-health care union and overwhelmingly vote for CUPE, says Ryan.

Hamilton CUPE locals have increasingly played a key role in fighting for improved area health care services. Last year, CUPE created the Save the Henderson Committee and worked with health coalitions, labour groups, local politicians and others in the community to save not only the Henderson, but also all of the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporations facilities.

Workers know CUPEs record fighting for health services in Hamilton is second to none and next week will recognize that contribution with a yes vote for CUPE on the ballot, adds Ryan.

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For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
David Michor, CUPE National Representative
(905) 975-6770
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774