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Community effort is key to reversing the decision to close the Nipissing Area Joint Hospitals Laundry and saving the jobs of 26 laundry workers, says Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), a guest speaker at a community meeting tomorrow organized by the ‘Keep Jobs Local’ Coalition.

Ryan is encouraging all in the North Bay community concerned about local job loss and access to health services to make attending the meeting a priority.

Laundry workers affected by the facility closure, North Bay mayor Vic Fedeli, and councillor Dave Mendicino are scheduled to speak at Wednesday’s meeting that will also include an open forum segment where community members can give input.

Ryan stresses that saving 26 jobs and keeping the laundry open is an important first step to maintaining local access to health services under pending provincial health care restructuring.

If the Ontario Liberals’ plans for health care are fully implemented,” says Ryan, “decisions to consolidate, merge and close services, similar to what is happening with the laundry service, will in fact compromise local access to both clinical services and health care support services. Jobs will be affected.

Right now, North Bay is the on-the-ground example of the Liberals’ model for health care that includes over $500 million in cost overruns for a private hospital with a limited scope of services, and the possibility of health service consolidation in Sudbury. I bet a lot of people are wondering why North Bay’s Liberal MPP is not publicly standing with the local community to make sure services and jobs are kept local.”

WHO: ‘Keep Jobs Local’ Coalition

WHAT: Community Meeting

WHERE: Best Western North Bay
 700 Lakeshore Drive

WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 – 7:00 p.m.

GUEST SPEAKERS: North Bay mayor Vic Fedeli, North Bay councillor Dave Mendicino and CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan.

For more information, please contact:

Sid Ryan  President, CUPE Ontario  (416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon  CUPE Communications  (416) 578-8774