Unifor welcomes hospital workers vote


LONDON, ON, Oct. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor welcomes the results of a vote at St. Joseph's Health Centre in London, Ontario where registered practical nurses (RPNs) and service employees voted to be represented by Unifor, ending months of uncertainly for them and the hospital, Unifor National President Jerry Dias says.

"Unifor is proud to represent these workers on the front line of our health care system, and I commend them for recognizing the importance of standing together," Dias said.

Over two days of voting on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week,  RPNs and service workers at St. Joseph's voted on which union they wanted to represent them , and chose Unifor. Unifor, through its predecessor union CAW, has represented workers at the hospital since 2000.

The Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act (PSLRTA) vote was supervised by the Ontario Labour Relations Board at the hospital on September 30 and October 1.

The vote resolves months of discussions at the hospital over which union should represent workers at the hospital - Unifor or the Ontario Public Services Employees Union. Both had members at the hospital sometimes in overlapping categories of work. As a result of the vote, Unifor will be the sole bargaining agent for more than 1,400 workers covered by this vote.

Dias commended Unifor members for their hard work over the summer to make this vote possible.

"Unifor is committed to the health care sector, with members across the country in this vital sector," Dias said. "As a union, we are not only dedicated to protecting the rights of health care workers, but the public health care system for all Canadians."

Unifor represents 30,000 health care workers across Canada. In Nova Scotia, Unifor members are active in efforts push back efforts by the provincial government to restrict the bargaining and representation rights of health care workers there.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.