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Unifor National President rallies with striking Thunder Bay health care workers

July 6, 2018

THUNDER BAY – Unifor National President Jerry Dias will join striking workers in a solidarity rally at the Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario on Monday, July 9, 2018.

“These hard-working women have been on strike for nearly three months now,” said Dias. “We’re on the picket line to let the employer know this fight for workers’ rights will continue until fair wages and secure jobs are won.”

The 65 workers, who are all women represented by Unifor Local 229, are on strike to end precarious work that offers no predictable work hours or pay from one week to the next, and wages so low that the legislated minimum wage effective January 1, 2018 meant a wage increase for many of the workers. 

While working at a medical clinic, many of the employees have no health benefits. The majority are also classified as casual employees, despite working full-time hours for up to 15 years in some cases.

The media and members of the community are invited to join Unifor and the striking workers for a community rally.

  • WHAT: Solidarity rally for Unifor Local 229 striking workers at Port Arthur Health Centre
  • WHEN: Monday, July 9 10:30 a.m.
  • WHO: Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, Andy Savela, Unifor Director of Health Care, Katha Fortier, Unifor Assistant to the National President and striking workers
  • WHERE: Port Arthur Health Centre, 194 Court Street North, Thunder Bay, Ontario

The employer continues to refuse mediation, despite multiple requests from the Ontario Labour Relations Board.  This comes on the heels of a sub-standard offer rejected by the workers with 94 per cent opposed.

The workers continue to garner support from the community with over 1,700 emails sent to the employer to demand that the Centre and its doctors get back to bargaining.

“The support of the community of Thunder Bay and across the world has been incredible,” said Andy Savela, Unifor Health Care Director. “Over 102,000 people have seen the video that talks about these workers’ fight for justice and are standing in solidarity with them.”

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For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at  or 416-896-3303 (cell).