HEU mulls enhanced member participation in Olympic plebiscite

News release

With 12,000 potential votes from HEU households, health workers can play an important role in games’ vote

The Hospital Employees’ Union says it’s looking at ways to promote the involvement of its members in the upcoming City of Vancouver plebiscite on the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Winter Olympic bid.

“There’s no doubt that this will be an important exercise in local democracy,” says HEU/CUPE spokesperson Chris Allnutt, “and we appreciate the commitments of mayor Larry Campbell and council to ensure that Vancouver residents have their views heard about the Olympic bid and what the city’s priorities should be.”

Allnutt says HEU has close to 8,000 members living in the city. “When you factor in family members, at least 12,000 people in HEU households in the city could cast votes. That’s a healthy number and a sign of the sizeable contribution HEU members can make in this important vote.”

Measures to enhance voter participation range from a direct mail campaign to media ads or a traditional election phone bank. Allnutt says a final decision on how the union can best get members involved in the democratic process will be made shortly.

HEU has yet to take a formal position either for or against the games. In the meantime, Allnutt says union members are deeply concerned about the Campbell government’s agenda of cuts, closures and privatization which has targeted the jobs of thousands of mostly women workers in Vancouver and area.

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Contact: Stephen Howard, communications director at 604-456-7037