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The three largest health care contractors in the world and a local company that last year lost a cleaning contract at B.C. Children’s and Women’s Hospital are among seven companies that have been shortlisted by the Fraser Health Authority for lucrative privatized cleaning contracts, according to documents obtained today by the Hospital Employees’ Unions/CUPE.

Britain’s Compass Group, U.S.-based Aramark and French multinational Sodexho have all been qualified by the FHA for contracts to clean operating rooms, intensive care units, special care nurseries and patient wards.

Sodexho made the news last year when unions released tapes in which a company official made statements that HEU alleges amount to blacklisting of union members from privatized hospital contracts. And both Sodexho and Compass have lost cleaning contracts in Scottish hospitals after concerns were raised about cleaning standards.

Also on the shortlist is A&A Services, a local company that in a development unrelated to the problems plaguing Sodexho and Compass, lost a privatized cleaning contract at Children’s and Women’s Hospital last year after just a few weeks. That contract is now in the hands of Aramark.

“This government and its health authorities continue to ignore the mounting evidence that health care privatization is the wrong answer for patient,” says HEU assistant secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic.

It’s expected that the FHA will now invite the qualified companies to bid on one or more contracts to clean hospitals and long-term care facilities from White Rock to Hope which would result in the layoff of about 750 current housekeeping staff - most of them women.

Contact: Mike Old, HEU communications officer at 604-828-6771 (cell)