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Forty-six more workers axed in phase two of contracting out scheme

ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON, Pleasant View Care Home issued pink slips to the 46 residential attendants, activity workers and maintenance staff as the administration moved to implement phase two of its contracting-out scheme. The workers, many of whom have more than 15 years service at the facility, provide direct care services to the residents.

“This is the second wave of pink slips at Pleasant View,” says HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic. She notes that 21 housekeepers and food service and laundry workers lost their jobs earlier this year when they were ousted in favour of contracting out their work to a low-waged, private company.

“The workers have to deal with the loss of their livelihoods and the impact that will have on their families, but they’re also worried about the Pleasant View residents,” says Bosancic. “With this round of layoffs, the seniors will be losing trusted, experienced caregivers who tend to their personal and intimate care needs on a daily basis.”

Bosancic adds that the upheaval is completely unnecessary because the union has repeatedly asked the employer to sit down and hammer out an agreement to preserve quality care for the residents and save jobs. However, all the union’s efforts have been rejected.

Placard-wearing Pleasant View workers immediately took the news of the layoffs to the busy street in front of the facility. The widespread public support that the care aides have gained over recent weeks was evident by the steady blaring of passing vehicle horns.

Shortly after the layoff notices were handed out, veteran care aide Laura Rath spoke of the local’s efforts to get the employer to halt contracting out plans and negotiate a new agreement for the benefit of all concerned.

“We’ve put pressure on every person we could think of who could make a difference,” said Rath. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep unless I got out there to fight.”