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Lana Acorn - North Sask Laundry workerLana Acorn - North Sask Laundry workerLana Acorn has worked at North Sask Laundry in Prince Albert for over 11 years. It was supposed to be the job she’d retire from.

“I could’ve retired at 58,” she says.

Instead, on October 9, she will be out a job.

“I liked everything about my job. I especially like the people I worked with. We were like a big family,” she says of the other nearly 75 co-workers slated to lose their jobs at the end of the week.

When she first heard the laundry would shut down, Lana says she was shocked.

“I didn’t think they’d shut us down after spending eight million upgrading the facility.”

About 8 years ago North Sask Laundry underwent extensive renovations and equipment upgrades. New washers and dryers were installed, and the facility became a state-of-the-art hospital laundry facility. The intent was to be a reliable facility for several decades – not a few years.

Lana felt the shock both professionally and personally.

“I’m not going to have a pension. I’m not going to have benefits,” she thought as she contemplated the impacts of losing a decent paying, Monday to Friday, full-time job.

After 11 years with a company she thought she’d spend her entire career with, Lana is struggling to figure what the future will hold, both for herself and for Saskatchewan residents.

“I’ve been going through Sask Jobs, but I don’t have post-secondary education. I’d have to go back to school to find something similar,” she says.

Lana is the linen coordinator, which means amongst the host of other duties, she deals with personal linens.

Personal linens are items which belong to long term care residents. Lana makes sure those items are laundered and returned back to that resident. K-Bro will not be doing that.

“What will happen then,” she wonders. “Will those people just be losing their personal things? Will it all just go in the garbage? Because that would be a horrible shame.”

At North Sask Laundry Lana made sure all old linen found a new home. The SPCA would get discarded soakers. Terry cloth items were sold to local businesses for utility rags. Discarded hospital linens got donated to Food for the Hungry.

“Nothing went to waste at North Sask Laundry,” she says. Public services serve whole communities, while privatization hollows them out.

Come this Friday, Lana, along with all her co-workers, will be leaving her job for the last time.