Count Sodexho workers’ votes, says labour board

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Decision puts an end to six-month wait for more than 750 Sodexho food services workers

THE B.C. Labour Relations Board has ordered a count of votes cast by hundreds of Sodexho food services workers in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority on whether to become members of the Hospital Employees’ Union.

The ballot boxes had been sealed for as long as six months because of legal roadblocks thrown up by the French multinational and the IWA. But as a result of the LRB decision — issued late Friday — workers will finally learn the results of their votes as early as this week.

More than 750 Sodexho employees at 21 sites are poised to become HEU members if the results of the vote are positive. They’d join Sodexho housekeeping staff at several Fraser Health Authority facilities whose votes have been counted and are now HEU members.

But more than 2000 other employees of health authority contractors including Aramark and Compass are still waiting for their ballots to be counted.

“The delay is over and workers’ right to choose will finally be respected,” says HEU acting secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic. “And we’ll keep the pressure on to make sure that other contract workers’ votes are counted as soon as possible.”