Workers pose for photo with flags and picket signsAt an information picket outside Extendicare Maples Long-term Care Home, CUPE announced that CUPE 1475 workers at Extendicare Oakview Place and CUPE 2719 workers at Extendicare Maples have both voted 99% in favour of a strike mandate.

“Throughout the pandemic, these staff members made incredible sacrifices to keep the people who built this province safe. They put their health and safety on the line and continued to work short-staffed and at great risk out of a moral responsibility to their residents,” said Virginia Monton, President of CUPE 2719. “Now, instead of recognizing their hard work, the employer refuses to budge from their unfair offer in an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis.”

There is significant disparity between the wages and contracts of CUPE members working in Extendicare facilities and those working in publicly run long-term care facilities. Despite Extendicare refusing to offer a fair deal to the workers running their facilities, the company has dispersed over $84 million in dividends to shareholders since summer 2021.

“The message to the employer is clear – our members are tired of being asked to do more with less,” said Gina McKay, president of CUPE Manitoba. “We’re hosting information rallies at all Extendicare facilities to ensure the employer knows these workers will not settle for less than staff in publicly run care homes earn.”

CUPE locals 1475 and 2719 represent over 350 workers in 2 of 9 facilities owned or operated by Extendicare Inc. in Winnipeg and Brandon. All Extendicare locals are in or set to enter bargaining this fall and expected to secure similar mandates if the employer does not improve their offer.