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For the second time in less than a week, a group of employees of Sodexho – a French-based private health care contractor – have joined the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) to improve wages and benefits, and gain stronger representation.

The 15 new union members work at Rideau Manor, a Burnaby retirement complex where Sodexho has a contract to provide housekeeping and dietary services.

Their existing terms of employment spell out wage rates as low as $8.50 an hour and only limited benefits.

“We’re pleased that these workers chose HEU as the best union to press for improved pay and working conditions and to win more respect for the value of their work,” says HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic.

Last week 18 Sodexho employees at Mayfair on the Green, a Coquitlam seniors’ retirement complex, voted to join HEU.

Bosancic says the second certification of Sodexho employees is a sign that HEU’s organizing strategy to deal with privatization and legislated contract breaking by the Campbell government is already showing some positive results.