When the odds are 10 to 1, it’s tempting to just throw in the towel. But that’s not what CUPE did in a representation vote in the Peel area of southern Ontario. Full-time service workers at the West Greater Toronto Area Hospital Corporation will be represented by CUPE thanks to the results of the vote on May 12.
Before the vote, CUPE represented just 28 full-time staff at the Georgetown Hospital, while SEIU Local 204 represented 409 employees at the Peel Hospital.
Kudos to Brother Mohan Swaminathan, temporary National Rep who spearheaded the campaign. “It was a total team effort,” says Brother Mohan. “With help from the organizing and communications staff in the Ontario Regional Office, including their wonderful clerical staff, and support from our National President Judy Darcy, our Regional Director Julie Davis, the health care coordinator, and the executive and members of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), we made it happen. Members of OCHU from as far away as Kingston, St. Catharines, Port Colborne and Fort Erie came down to help us distribute material. It just goes to show what you can do with a lot of hard work and determination.”
The campaign will not be resting on its laurels, because there was a tie for the 496 part-time members. A run-off vote is expected early in June, when CUPE can pick up the part-timers. When the dust settles, CUPE will likely represent over 1000 workers at the West GTA Hospital, 900 of them new sisters and brothers.
Special thanks to member-organizers from the other union, who actively campaigned on CUPE’s behalf and got our message out. They seized their opportunity to join the best hospital workers’ union in the country 004300550050E.