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More than 50 housekeepers, supported by activists from other unions held the teach in after the Vancouver Island Health Authority announced a five year deal with the corporation.

The deal will cost more than 1,000 HEU members their jobs.

Workers demanded a meeting with the health authority’s management and no-reprisals for the action.

Workers who accept jobs with the contractor can expect to lose all their benefits and see their wages cut from about $18 per hour to $9.50 per hour.

“I wouldn’t do this job for $9.50 an hour,” one housekeeper told a local reporter. Housekeeping work involves cleaning up large volumes of blood or pieces of bone in operating rooms, vomit and bodily fluids in various areas of the hospital, even cleaning excrement from walls at times.

“You wouldn’t believe some of the things we pick up,” said one worker.