Hundreds of Vancouver health care workers receive pink slips

Campaign against privatization launched today

A fightback campaign against the privatization of housekeeping and dietary services is gearing up at Children and Women’s Health Centre, Sunny Hill Health Centre and the Vancouver branch of the B.C. Cancer Agency following yesterday’s announced layoff of hundreds of Vancouver health workers.

Organizing efforts began immediately following the Provincial Health Services Authority’s announcement that two subsidiaries of U.K. based multinational Compass Group — Morrison Healthcare Food Services and Crothall Services Group — were given the lucrative health care contracts.

At least 238 regular employees and hundreds of casual workers will lose their jobs between September 19 and November 9, depending on their length of service.

Affected health care workers began leafleting hospital staff and the general public at noon today. As part of the fightback campaign, people will be asked to express their solidarity with laid off workers by wearing a blue ribbon.

“This latest privatization move represents a huge risk to the patients in these specialized health centres and a shameful injustice to the workers who care for them,” says HEU Secretary Business-Manager Chris Allnutt. “Our focus now is to work closely with our Vancouver members to build greater public opposition to health care privatization.”