“Fair deal” for Compass food workers rally on Monday, 12 noon
Local and provincial support is building for 30 food service staff at the Peterborough hospital. When these jobs were contracted-out to global giant Compass, wages for these workers were cut in half.
Now in contract talks with Compass, food staff are asking for a very modest wage increase and improved working conditions. A rally to support negotiations and a fair deal for them, is slated for Monday, June 20, 2016 at 12 noon on Hospital Drive at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC).
“There is no difference between the work that women do in retail food at the hospital, and that done preparing patient food, but the wages have been halved. The hospital, as the largest employer in Peterborough, should commit that it believes its direct and indirect staff will be paid enough to live above the poverty line. We hope that the hospital will ask its contractor Compass, to reach a deal that includes real gains for these employees,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).
The Peterborough hospital has a yearly budget of about $230 million. A small wage increase for the food workers amounts to 0.01 per cent ($36,000) of the hospital’s $230 million a year operating budget, the equivalent of just $19 a week, per worker.
The food staff are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1943.1.
Negotiators for both sides are meeting Tuesday, June 21. If talks breakdown without a new contract a labour disruption at the hospital is a “very real and unfortunate possibility,” warns Hurley who will be attending Monday’s noon rally.
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