Since April 9 there have been 65 women, members of Local 229, on strike at the Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay demanding fair compensation and an end to precarious work.
“We are finishing our sixth week on strike with an employer who has little respect for the importance of the work these women perform and now refuses to negotiate,” said Kari Jefford, Local 229 President.
After the workers rejected a forced vote on the final offer the employer is utilizing replacement workers and refusing to respond to requests from an Ontario Labour Relations Board senior mediator and the union to meet and try to reach a settlement.
The union says this strike is about securing decent work for women and recognizing the value of the work these women do. A national strike appeal was issued to all locals on May 15 to ask for solidarity for these women workers.
“It’s really disheartening they haven’t come back to the table,” said Unit Chair Lori Salmi. “We work so hard on their behalf to make the clinic run smoothly and care for every patient who walks through our doors.”
The employer’s last offer would have the majority of women making barely more than the minimum wage. Local 229 President talked about the issues in this short CBC radio interview: www.cbc.ca/player/play/1208299075507/
All locals and members are encouraged to send a financial donation to assist the striking workers and keep the strike line strong. Your contributions can be made via cheque, payable to ‘Unifor Local 229’. Grocery gift cards for Metro and gas cards are also appreciated. Please send donations to:
Angie Martz, Financial Secretary, Unifor Local 229
106 North Cumberland St., Suite 101
Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4M2
Download the Strike Appeal for Port Arthur Health Centre here.