Marquise Group, the company recently awarded a housekeeping and food services contract for seven Vancouver Island Health Authority care facilities, has been purchased by Compass Group Canada, the company currently contracted to provide those services.
The details of the acquisition are not available, but the news was confirmed to the union by both Compass and by the Vancouver Island Health Authority earlier today.
And although the implications of the purchase for the commercial contract signed between Marquise and VIHA are not clear, HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says Compass should immediately rescind layoff notices issued to its employees.
“As a result of this purchase, Compass will continue to be the housekeeping and food services contractor at Glengarry, Aberdeen, The Priory, Queen Alexandra, Gorge Road, Mount Tolmie and Saanich Peninsula,” says Darcy.
“Therefore it is the union’s expectation that our members will now continue to be employed by Compass and that their existing collective agreement will continue to be in force and effect.”
Prior to today’s announcement, Darcy met with VIHA CEO Howard Waldner and other top VIHA executives to urge them to require Marquise to take on current employees and honour the existing wages, benefits and working conditions.
HEU was able to negotiate a similar arrangement in the Fraser Health Authority when Aramark took over housekeeping services at a number of sites from Sodexo.
“Now that Compass Group has purchased Marquise Group, it should be a straightforward matter for the company to maintain its current workforce and respect their collective agreement,” says Darcy.
The union is seeking a meeting with Compass Group to pursue the matter.
Please check back at www.heu.org for any updates on this developing situation.