Victoria nursing home workers deliver unanimous strike mandate
Hospital Employees’ Union members working at a Victoria long-term care home have given their union a 100-per-cent strike mandate in their ongoing efforts to reach a first collective agreement with British multinational Compass Group.
The 19 food, laundry and housekeeping workers at Beacon Hill Villa have been without a contract for more than 13 months.
“These workers have shown remarkable courage in standing up for their rights, despite the climate of fear and intimidation that has permeated their workplace,” says HEU’s acting secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic.
“What this vote demonstrates is just how determined they are to achieve basic protections and some measure of stability in their workplace.”
Bosancic says the union’s first step will be to seek mediation under the Labour Code.
The two sides have not met since December 6, when Compass Group rejected a union proposal that included guaranteed hours of work, health and safety language, a grievance procedure and a modest wage increase.
Compass Group employees at Beacon Hill Villa earn a starting wage of $9.25 — about half the hourly wage earned before the work was contracted out in 2003.