Campbell corporate agenda for health care exposed — tapes

B.C. Fed vows to aid HEU members in their fight

The B.C. Federation of Labour today exposed a plan by major multinational corporations to blackball fired HEU members from working in health care as part of the Campbell Liberals’ privatization agenda.

Transcripts and tapes released at a press conference Friday morning contain frank admissions by corporate representatives that they have no intention of hiring back HEU members fired by health authorities as they privatize housekeeping, laundry and food services.

“This is an unbelievably deliberate, cold-hearted and vicious attack on thousands of experienced and dedicated women and men on health care’s front lines,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“This is about union busting and fattening corporate coffers — plain and simple,” adds Allnutt.

Representatives of Sodexho and a major laundry interest, presumed to be K-Bro Linen, approached the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union with the intent of negotiating company-friendly contracts that kept wages low and HEU members out of health care.

But BCGEU — in close consultation with HEU — responded to the offensive and immoral advance by recording further meetings in an effort to shed light on the reckless agenda of the Campbell Liberal government.

That agenda includes cutting wages to between $8 and $10.50 an hour, keeping HEU members out, and deals with health authorities that allow companies to walk out on contracts if they become “too expensive” in order to block any union from bargaining better wages and working conditions.

In an emergency session Thursday, B.C. Fed leaders responded to the revelations by pledging their support to HEU members’ efforts to preserve their jobs and keep their union. Labour leaders also hammered out a protocol agreement to short circuit attempts by corporations to separate members from their union.

“We’re grateful for the solidarity of the BCGEU and the entire labour movement for exposing the corporate agenda in B.C.’s health care system,” says Allnutt.

“This solidarity is critical as we work to protect our jobs, our families, our public services and our communities,” adds Allnutt. “Campbell’s agenda has come into sharp focus — and he must be stopped.”

What they said on tape

“We had lunch with one of the CEOs.” “The reason they (health authorities) are getting rid of the existing staff is to get rid of the existing deal.” “I say it’s everybody [that will be fired] and I ain’t hiring them.” Spencer Greene, regional director of operations, Sodexho Canada

On whether Bill 29 is the “keep HEU out clause" — “Yeah, exactly, well that’s it right? I mean let’s call it what it is exactly.”

On whether the company would hire HEU members — “No they would prefer not to.”

On whether they would keep HEU members out because they’d vote their union back in — “Bingo-bango.” Luciano Anjos, labour consultant acting on behalf of laundry company believed to be K-Bro Linen Systems.

You can read the electronic transcripts  transcript 1 and transcript 2 and listen to the audio tapes.

Selling off health care, one piece at a time

HEU members know that health care is up for sale and it’s starting with their jobs. Because of Bill 29, more than 32 health support services areas have been identified for possible privatization including:

  • Diagnostic Lab
  • Diagnostic Imagining
  • Pharmacy
  • Plant Maintenance/Operations
  • Nutrition Services
  • Information Systems
  • Housekeeping
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Health Records
  • Laundry/Linen
  • Materiel Management
  • Research
  • Social Work
  • Planning
  • Physiotherapy
  • Admitting
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Security
  • Biomedical
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Other Therapies
  • Switchboard
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications
  • Volunteer Resources
  • Pastoral Care
  • Speech Therapy
  • Quality Assurance
  • Utilization Management
  • Diversity
  • OTHER

Press conference video

After 9 a.m. Saturday, May 4 click here to access a video of the press conference.