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WINNIPEGCUPE members at two for-profit nursing homes owned by Extendicare yesterday voted overwhelmingly in favour of going on strike.

These workers have had enough. They are grossly underpaid, have no pension plan and few benefits, CUPE staff representative Murray Craddock said. Extendicares profits are up but they refuse to pay their employees in line with public sector health care workers.

Craddock said the workers are paid $ 1.70 an hour less than employees at public sector nursing homes and are seeking parity. The union members, who belong to CUPE Local 1475 at Oakview Place and Local 2180 at Tuxedo Villa, are also seeking a pension plan. Nurses who work at the two long-term care facilities already have a pension plan. Extendicare contributes 50/50 to the plan with its nurse employees.

The 360 workers provide day-to-day care for nursing home residents as health care aides and support workers performing laundry, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance and activities services. The CUPE members have held information pickets at both nursing homes and have received support from residents and their families.

The support has been heart-warming. Many of these workers are dedicated, long-serving employees, Craddock said. They deserve decent wages, benefits and a pension plan.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents

24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child cares, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Murray Craddock, CUPE Staff Representative
Phone: (204) 942-0343 ex. 209