In Thunder Bay, Ontario there are 65 Unifor sisters walking the picket line and holding strong since Monday, April 9. The striking workers are represented by Unifor Local 229 and work at the Port Arthur Health Centre.
These workers put in long hours to support the health clinic as medical aides, medical recorders, medical secretaries and medical billing clerks. Despite the valuable role provided to the clinic, or the range in extensive years of service, the employer continues to show them disrespect and is choosing to profit off the workers.
The overall feeling from Local 229 is that enough was enough! A majority of the 65 members in the bargaining unit, 43 workers, have been employed as casual employees despite working full-time hours for up to 15 years; a majority do not have health benefits or job security and the wages are just over the minimum wage.
On top of the precarious working conditions every day of the strike there have been replacement workers - scabs -crossing the picket line to work for the doctors at the clinic. The workers have had enough of disrespect and a lack of recognition of the value and quality of their work. Local 229 President talks about the issues in this short CBC radio interview: www.cbc.ca/player/play/1208299075507/
To hold the strike line and send the employer a clear message about decent work, equal pay and to end long-term precarious contract jobs Local 229 needs our help. There are three things you can do to show solidarity.
Email and contact the employer to demand fairness - email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 807-346-6217
There is no respect from the management team for the work these women do. The management team at the Center has taken advantage of this tiny, but mighty group of women. The employer continues to bully and intimidate these workers but we can’t let that stand.
These Unifor sisters need solidarity and support. Here are three things you can do.
- Tell the employer to get back to the table and negotiate! Since the strike the employer refuses to talk. It’s time to give these women a fair agreement. Email email@example.com, call 807-346-6217 or send a fax to 807-346-6251.
- Send a solidarity message today! Email Kari Jefford, President Local 229 at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the Thunder Bay area – join the picket line, Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Make a donation to the strike fund, purchase gift cards for Metro grocery stores or gas cards. Send all financial donations to Local 229 101-106 North Cumberland Street, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4M2