Port Arthur Health Centre workers in Thunder Bay, Ont., strike

Issues are precarious, low-wage work: Unifor
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 04/13/2018
Labour strike
Unifor Local 229 represents 65 workers at the centre, working as appointment secretaries, medical aides and in medical records. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

At midnight on April 9, workers at the Port Arthur Health Centre — represented by Unifor, Local 229 — set up picket lines and went on strike.

"The frustrating thing about bargaining talks with this unreasonable employer is that the employer is not arguing that they do not have the ability to pay, but rather that it's seeking to fill the coffers," said Kari Jefford, president of Unifor Local 229.

Unifor Local 229 represents 65 workers at the centre, working as appointment secretaries, medical aides and in medical records. The collective agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2017. No progress has been made on key issues of precarious work contracts or insufficient compensation for work, said the union .

"There are more than enough hours to make scheduled rotations, but it hasn't happened," said Andy Savela, director of health care at Unifor.

Unifor said the employer is acting aggressively towards the union and has even applied to the Ontario Labour Relations Board in an attempt to force a vote on their last offer. Currently, there are no dates scheduled for negotiations with the employer, however the union stated it is willing to negotiate to seek a fair resolution, according to Unifor.

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