For the second time in less than a week, a group of employees of Sodexho-a French-based private health care contractor-have joined the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) to improve wages and benefits, and gain stronger representation. The 15 new union members work at Rideau Manor, a Burnaby retirement complex where Sodexho has a contract to provide housekeeping and dietary services. They voted overwhelmingly to join HEU in a Labour Relations Board supervised ballot late Friday afternoon.
Their existing terms of employment spell out wage rates as low as $8.50 an hour and only limited benefits.
“We’re pleased that these workers chose HEU as the best union to press for improved pay and working conditions and to win more respect for the value of their work,” says HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic.
Last Friday 18 Sodexho employees at a Coquitlam seniors’ retirement complex voted to join HEU.
And Bosancic says that the second certification of Sodexho employees is a sign that her union’s comprehensive organizing strategy to deal with privatization and legislated contract breaking by the Campbell government is already showing some positive results.
HEU represents about 46,000 health care workers who provide direct patient care and support services in health care facilities across the province. About 2,500 of those members work for private operators like Sodexho, Bosancic says.
Stephen Howard, director of communications 604-456-7037