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Health care workers are holding protest lines around B.C. health care facilities in response to Bill 37 — legislation that imposed deep wage cuts while continuing to leave health authorities a free hand to contract out work and privatize health services.
The Hospital Employees’ Union took the decision just hours after the Gordon Campbell Liberal government used an all-night session of the provincial legislature to impose a 15 per cent wage cut on 43,000 B.C. health care workers while continuing to allow health employers to fire workers at will.
“In a free and democratic society, we must stand up to unjust laws that deprive working people of their fundamental legal rights,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.
“Bill 37 is a particularly sorry addition to the list of government legislation used to impose collective agreements and shred legal contracts,” says Allnutt. “It imposes unprecedented wage rollbacks on workers while providing no employment security.
“The legislation is unjust and must be challenged,” says Allnutt. “We must do what we can to preserve public health services by putting an end to employers’ rights to fire workers to clear the way for more privatization.”
HEU members will maintain protest lines and respect them while continuing to provide essential services to the public.
“The implications of Bill 37 are very serious for workers and for the public nature of health care,” says Allnutt. “We’re asking the public — including other trade unionists — for their support.”
Contact: Mike Old, communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)