More Compass workers vote to join HEU

News release

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Nearly 300 employees of UK-based Compass Group, the corporation contracted to provide retail and patient food services and housekeeping at three Lower Mainland health facilities covered by the Provincial Health Services Authority, have voted 76 per cent in favour of joining the Hospital Employees’ Union.

“These workers have waited far too long to have the right to choose their own union recognized, and I’m thrilled that they’ve voted to join HEU,” says Judy Darcy, the union’s secretary-business manager.

“Now that the ballots have finally been counted, we’ll move quickly to meet with our new members and determine which issues will be the main focus of negotiations with Compass for a first collective agreement.”

Although workers cast their ballots on union membership more than 16 months ago, the ballot count was held up pending a series of BC Labour Relations Board decisions dealing with a variety of objections from Compass Group and Langley-based local 1-3567 of the United Steelworkers of America.

Darcy says that as soon as the Labour Relations Board formalizes the union’s certification, Compass will be served with notice to bargain.

The new HEU members who work at Children’s and Women’s Hospital (the first hospital in the province to contract out health support services under Bill 29), Sunnyhill Health Centre and the BC Cancer Agency - Vancouver site will be designated as a single bargaining unit.

And in another ballot count of Compass employees working at Dania Home, a seniors’ care facility in Burnaby, workers voted 80 per cent in favour of joining HEU.

The union now represents more than 3,300 employees of Sodexho, Aramark and Compass — the three foreign corporations that have signed lucrative privatization deals with health authorities and other health employers.

Compass hospital workers at Victoria-area health facilities including Royal Jubilee and Victoria General hospitals are currently voting on union membership. No date has been set for that ballot count.

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Contact Margi Blamey, communications officer, at 604-456-7094 direct or 604-785-5324.