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Union:
United Steel Workers

Local:
2020

Disruption:
Lockout

Employer:
United Steel Workers - 2020 - CarePartners Sudbury

Start of Dispute:
2019-06-13

Description:

UPDATE: Sudbury Permanently Loses Jobs Under Anti-Union, Private Home Care

SUDBURY – Failing to break the resolve of a group of low-paid workers during a five-month lockout, for-profit health-care provider CarePartners has decided to permanently eliminate dozens of jobs in Sudbury.

CarePartners, a private corporation that profits from public tax dollars, locked out 29 Sudbury employees on May 31 after they refused to accept the company’s concession demands at the bargaining table.

“For more than five months, this for-profit operator tried to break the resolve of these workers – all but one of whom are women – who were seeking modest improvements to their low wages and difficult working conditions,” said Marty Warren, Ontario Director of the United Steelworkers (USW), which represents the locked-out employees.

“They tried to put the squeeze on a group of low-paid women, but failed. These workers stood strong and refused to be bullied. So the company decided to shut down this operation and permanently take these jobs out of the community,” Warren said.

The affected employees co-ordinated and scheduled the delivery of home-care services to patients in communities throughout northeastern Ontario. During the lockout, other home-care workers who provide front-line care to patients also raised concerns over the impact of private, for-profit delivery of services that is funded by public tax dollars.

“The employees demonstrated why issues such as low wages, sick leave and staff turnover were significant problems that affect workers as well as the services delivered to patients,” said Warren.

“Rather than addressing these issues with its employees, CarePartners decided to take these jobs out of the community, presumably to a low-wage, non-union environment where it can impose its will on workers,” he said.

As a result of the decision by CarePartners, the USW has negotiated a severance package for the members who were locked out for the last five months.

In addition to the 29 unionized employees whose jobs are disappearing, the company’s decision also will eliminate a number of non-union jobs in the community.

“This appalling turn of events exposes the dark side of privatization in our health-care system. It’s a system in which our government, that claims to be ‘for the people,’ allows private corporations to put profits before patients and workers,” Warren said. He noted that, throughout the lockout, Doug Ford’s Conservative government ignored repeated calls to help achieve a negotiated settlement.

“This government clearly supports privatized health care and sanctions for-profit operators making money on the backs of low-paid workers and at the expense of patient care,” he said.

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For further information:

Marty Warren, USW Ontario Director, 416-243-8792
Mike Scott, USW Staff Representative, 705-675-2461, ext. 225, 705-507-0976, mjscott@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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