HEU to abide by LRB, court order

News release

Day of protest blocked, but union pledges creative actions to fight Campbell's "legislative vandalism"

The Hospital Employees' Union says it will abide by last night's Labour Relations Board ruling filed in Supreme Court which blocks the union's efforts to stage a measured protest today to oppose the Campbell government's contract breaking legislation and plans to close hospitals and privatize health care services.

"We are advising our members to report to work, but we will not be silent," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

"Of course we're disappointed with the outcome," he said. "But we're not surprised that the Campbell government and their health care boss allies have taken yet another step to try to silence opposition to Victoria's agenda to wreck Medicare and lay off thousands of health care workers." "This is shaping up as a real David and Goliath fight between tens of thousands of health care workers-mostly women-and a premier who relies on 'legislative vandalism' to strip working people of basic rights and communities of critical health care services."

"Our members are incensed by a Premier who promised to protect Medicare and respect collective agreements, and then nine-days ago rammed through a draconian law that extinguishes basic workplace rights in a legally binding agreement and paved the way for hospital closures, service cuts and privatization.

But the HEU leader predicted that efforts to silence the union's plans for a measured protest would backfire. "HEU members are known for their creative approaches to dealing with issues in the workplace. We'll keep up the fight to defend Medicare and our collective agreements. Try as the Premier might, our voices can't and won't be silenced."

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For more information, contact: Mike Old, communications officer, 604/828-6771 or Stephen Howard, communications director, 604/240-8524 (cell)