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AS 43,000 front-line health care workers returned to their jobs on May 3 in the wake of an imposed settlement, HEU members throughout the province wrote letters to their local newspapers thanking the public for its support. Here’s a sampling of their comments:
As one of the “unskilled” Hospital Employees’ Union members that Mr. Campbell beat up on during the past week, I want to say a big thank-you to the public for all of its support during our brief struggle?.No matter how we feel personally, each and every one of us will do what we are trained and hired to do, to the best of our ability, 15.2-per-cent wage rollback or not.
—Cheryl Heslop, PGRH care aide and nursing-unit clerk
Prince George Citizen
Monday, May 10
On behalf of the members of the Cowichan Valley Local of the Hospital Employees’ Union, my sincerest possible thanks for the unending support from the public during our recent protest. The constant outpouring of goodwill in the forms of water, food, and encouragement helped us to hold our lines day and night?.We are back on the job at full strength, we still care for each and every one of you as much as ever before, and we will continue to do so with a 15 per cent smaller paycheque. Our commitment continues.
—Jesse Winfrey, HEU Chief Shop Steward, Cowichan District Hospital
Cowichan Valley Citizen
Sunday, May 9
The HEU strikers and all the support pickets wish to thank Port Alberni residents and the local businesses for all the support shown during the recent strike. The support shown the strikers was phenomenal. As most workers still had to work to cover essential services the extra help on the line was appreciated by the workers at WCGH and Fir Park/Echo.
—From Jack McLeman’s “View From Labour” column
Alberni Valley Times
Friday, May 7
On behalf of the executive and members of the Hospital Employees Union at the Royal Columbian Hospital, we would like to thank the Unions and members of the public for their great support during our strike and political protest. We shall never forget those of you who joined our lines, provided donations of food and beverages and expressed your support for us in so many other ways. A special thanks to the New Westminster Fire Department for the great barbecue they gave to us and also the RCH Management for their cooperation during this difficult dispute.
—Patrick O'Neill (vice-chair), Ray Melville (Warden), Royal Columbian local
Burnaby News Leader
Friday, May 7
The Chilliwack Local of the Hospital Employees’ Union would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chilliwack community for the overwhelming support that we received from them. It makes one proud to belong to such a wonderful community. These last few days have been a struggle for everyone and we have all witnessed an exercise of democracy in the province. Let us trust, that the lessons learned will move us all forward the wiser. Time to let go and work together to build the future in this great province we have.
Friday, May 7, 2004
I was so proud of our members, and the other unions (public and private), the general public and businesses who joined our protest in the human chain up to the radio station. It was a great day in Kamloops.
—Zena Menard, clerk/receptionist at Royal Inland Hospital
Kamloops Daily News
Monday, May 10
HEU also placed thank you ads in community newspapers
across the province this past weekend. The ad
thanked members of the public for making a difference by supporting public health care and the people who deliver it.