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Close to 9,000 Bay St. George residents sent a strong message to their municipal and provincial leaders this summer by signing a CUPE petition to maintain kitchen facilities in Stephenvilles new hospital.

“Having functional cooking facilities in a hospital is essential,” says Donna Ryan, a hospital worker and president of the CUPE Local 488. “Patients rely on properly prepared meals as a part of their recovery and its outrageous that a hospital would compromise this service to cut costs.”

“Building a new hospital without cooking facilities is like Ford designing a car without wheels,” says Wayne Lucas, president of CUPE Newfoundland and Labrador.

As well as having an effect on patient care, this move will have economic reper-cussions in the community. There are 22 jobs in the hospitals current hospital at risk.

In addition to circulating a petition, CUPE Local 488 members have been out in the community canvassing and informing people about the campaign and will be mounting an advertising campaign and lobbying municipal councilors and MHAs in the weeks ahead.