Day 5: Support mushrooms for health care workers in wake of Bill 37

Bargaining bulletin

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Protest lines hold firm as union awaits LRB decision

Support for the province’s health care workers has mushroomed in the wake of Bill 37, as patients, residents, union and non-union workers and community members continue to swell the ranks of HEU’s protest lines outside hospitals and care homes across the province.

HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt issued the call for members to maintain and respect protest lines until further notice during a rally in front of Vancouver General Hospital at noon today.

“People in B.C. recognize somebody has to stand up for public health care,” says Allnutt. “That’s why patients are with us. That’s why average citizens are with us. And that’s what’s bringing teachers, firefighters, nurses, ferry workers, and other trade-unionists to our protest lines today.”

As outrage mounts over legislation that imposes massive wage rollbacks while allowing employers to continue firing workers, the Health Employers Association of B.C. has gone to the Labour Relations Board in an attempt to force HEU members back to work.

After an officers meeting lasting most of the day, the B.C. Federation of Labour has secured a meeting for tomorrow with labour minister Graham Bruce. “Despite the Liberal government’s continued public attacks on our members, I’m hearing constant reports of high spirits and enthusiasm over the profound level of support they are receiving,” says Allnutt.

“What we’re doing is exercising our right as citizens and workers in a free and democratic society to stand up and protest unjust laws.”