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(Orillia) Waggs Linen, a private laundry service in Orillia which is under contract to several area hospitals, the Huronia Regional Centre, Casino Rama and others, is facing a bargaining in bad faith complaint at the Ministry of Labour.
The union representing 27 employees at Waggs Linen is questioning the timing of termination notices issued this week just days before a strike deadline.
CUPE Local 3785 is filing the complaint with the Ministry. A strike deadline of March 16 has been set, after a strike vote was held February 25.
There are several outstanding issues in the dispute, including:

  • A wage increase for the workers who make an average wage of about $8.65 an hour
  • Benefits improvements
  • Shift premiums

The top wage after three years continuous service at Waggs Linen is $8.85 an hour, which gives a full-time employee an annual salary of just over $18,000 well below the poverty line.
The laundry workers, most of them women, have been working without a contract since October 31, 2000. The employer has put several concessions on the bargaining table.

For information:
Gwen Hewitt, CUPE National Rep.
(705) 722-7387 (o)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)