Hamilton—The sick and vulnerable in the Hamilton community will not be well served, and may be put at risk, if core housekeeping at all Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation is contracted out to a for-profit, multi-national corporation that is notorious for shoddy service, low wages and union busting, said Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), at a rally today at the Chedoke hospital site.
Recently, the hospital administration made a decision to contract out housekeeping services at all Hamilton Health Sciences locations, beginning with the Chedoke site, to Sodexho Marriott, a private company with a dangerously soiled reputation.
In Britain, Sodexho is linked to exploiting asylum seekers by employing them as cooks and cleaners at well below the legal minimum wage standards, and with failing to deliver decent housekeeping services at Glasgow’s largest hospital.
“Bloodied linens left in public areas of the hospital and untrained, low-paid staff who clean toilets and then serve food are the hallmarks of this company at the Glasgow hospital. The sick of Hamilton should never be put at risk because the hospital thinks they can save money by contracting out services,” said Ryan.
In the United States, Sodexho is one of the largest investors in for-profit, private prisons and has been the target of student activists who want the company, which operates dining hall food services, off their university campuses.
Initially, the contracting out will impact on the jobs of 20 unionized housekeeping staff at Chedoke and “unless the community tell the hospital administration that their health and safety is too important to hand over to a multi-national corporation only interested in making profits, the outsourcing will spread to other hospital sites and eliminate the jobs of qualified, well-trained and committed staff,” said Mike Walters, president of CUPE Local 4800, the union that represents housekeeping staff at Hamilton hospitals.
For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
Mike Walters, President CUPE Local 4800
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications