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Calgary In a firm 81 per cent decision, 300 employees with Sodexho MS Canada Ltd. have voted for membership in the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 182. The employees perform housekeeping duties at the Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital and Colonel Belcher Veteran’s Care Centre. Over 70 per cent of the employees took part in the vote on Wednesday.

“These employees have voted for better working conditions, better wages and for fair treatment on the job,” said CUPE Local 182 President, James Arthurs. “Housekeeping was contracted out at these sites seven years ago. Now the workers will have the union protection they deserve,” he said.

Local 182 undertook the organizing drive in response to complaints about unfair treatment by their employer. The 300 employees come from a wide variety of backgrounds, many with English as a second language.

“The workers will have behind them the strength of over 30,000 CUPE members in Alberta and half a million in Canada. With union membership they have voted for strength at the bargaining table and solid contract protection on the job,” he said.

CUPE 408 recently negotiated an 11 per cent wage increase for Sodexho employees in Lethbridge.

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CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPE’s 31,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca

For further information:

James Arthurs, President, CUPE Local 182, (403) 204-0304 or (403) 852-6224