Care aides laid off days after LRB nails employer for unfair labour practices
Vancouver nursing home operator had pressured workers to decertify or join `Christian’ union to keep their jobs
Just days after the Labour Relations Board ruled that the operator of a Vancouver long-term care home had engaged in unfair labour practices, the care aides who work there have been laid off.
Point Grey Private Hospital, a publicly funded seniors’ care facility, gave notice to the Hospital Employees’ Union late Thursday of its intention to lay off more than two dozen care aides and contract out their work.
In a ruling handed down Monday, the B.C. Labour Relations Board found that the facility's operator and part owner, Maureen McIntosh, violated the labour code by suggesting to employees that they decertify or join a 'Christian' union in order to maintain their wages and benefits.
The LRB ruled that McIntosh interfered in the administration of a trade union and that her actions were an attempt to compel or induce workers from continuing to be members of a trade union. The facility was ordered by the LRB to post the decision in the workplace.
HEU spokesperson Zorica Bosancic says government legislation tearing up union contracts has been an open invitation to health employers to engage in similar pressure tactics and has turned back the clock on workers’ rights.
“Labour relations in B.C.’s health care system today is straight out of the thirties,” says Bosancic. “Employers can intimidate and coerce workers with few consequences and then throw them out of work under cover of government legislation tearing up their contracts.”
Along with the workers who’ve lost their jobs, Bosancic says it’s the four dozen seniors at Point Grey who will suffer as they lose caregivers who’ve provided the bulk of their personal care and in some cases have worked at the facility for more than twenty years.
McIntosh contracted out housekeeping, laundry and dietary work at Point Grey last year.
-30- Contact: Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)