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Laundry workers feel hung out to dry with private laundry deal

Over 35 CUPE members and community supporters rallied at a lunchtime information picket on Wednesday, November 19, to call for fairness and respect for North Sask Laundry workers.

With the closure of the North Sask Laundry facility looming, CUPE Local 3736 laundry workers have been waiting over a year for news about severance and re-training support. Over 75 jobs are being lost in the Prince Albert area due to the privatization of laundry services under the Brad Wall government.

“Our members have dedicated years of professional laundry service as an integral part of public health care, and will soon find ourselves back out in the job market. We think it’s fair to ask for re-training support and fair severance so that we can continue to contribute to our local economy and support our families,” said Anita Labossiere, president of CUPE Local 3736. “We want a just transition plan that provides ways of reinvesting in our community, starting with us and our skill sets.”

Upon returning to work, members discovered that management had called security regarding the lunch hour picket, and local president, Labossiere, was told that she had disrupted the work force.

“We were out on our lunch break and back in on time,” said Labossiere. “We had a successful mid-day picket that saw community members and supporters stop by, people honking their horns in support, and even the mayor of Prince Albert stopped by to announce that city council supports us.

“Yet it seems as though management would rather harass workers for raising our concerns than meaningfully work with all parties to address them.”