United Steel Workers
Start of Dispute:
Sudbury Home Care Workers Locked Out by CarePartners
“Rather than negotiate a fair collective agreement, CarePartners is trying to bully its employees into accepting a contract that doesn’t address serious workplace concerns,” said Mike Scott, Staff Representative with the United Steelworkers, representing the locked-out employees.
USW Local 2020 represents about 30 employees at the CarePartners Sudbury office who work as home care co-ordinators and administration staff. All but one of the employees are women and their top wage, regardless of seniority, is $16.15 an hour.
The employees voted by a margin of more than 90% to reject a contract offer from CarePartners. The union was prepared to continue bargaining to reach a negotiated settlement, but the company opted to lock out its employees on Friday, going so far as changing the locks on the office doors.
“These employees co-ordinate and schedule home-care visits and services provided to clients in communities throughout northeastern Ontario. It is demanding and stressful work. Wages, sick leave and staff turnover are significant issues that need to be addressed,” said Scott.
“CarePartners is a large, for-profit company that is funded by our tax dollars. It is unacceptable that this company wants to extract more profit from public funds by putting the squeeze on a small group of women. We’re talking about single moms, students, grandmothers, women who simply want decent wages and working conditions,” Scott said.
“This is an example of the dark side of privatization in our health-care system, of large companies putting profits over people,” said Marty Warren, the USW’s Ontario Director. “Instead of bullying its employees, CarePartners should get back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair deal.”
For further information:
Mike Scott, USW Staff Representative, 705-675-2461, ext. 225, 705-507-0976 email@example.com
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org