Members working for Sodexo, Aramark return strong strike vote results

With Compass back at the bargaining table, HEU calls on Sodexo and Aramark to resume negotiations on wages, working conditions
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The large majority of HEU members working for Sodexo and Aramark in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health authorities, as well as four long-term care sites, have voted yes to job action – should it become necessary.

The HEU-supervised strike votes started March 31 and ended on April 6. In total, there were 36 balloting opportunities at or near all Sodexo and Aramark sites. Ballots were counted at the HEU Provincial Office on the morning of April 7.

During the past few weeks, bargaining committees and many member-activists worked tirelessly to ensure that members understood the employers’ settlement offers, and that they were able to participate in the votes. The high turnout and strong results are thanks in large part to these efforts and hard work.

The union hopes these results will send a clear message to the employers that members are serious about returning to the bargaining table. Sodexo and Aramark bargaining committees are meeting on April 9 to finalize a counter-proposal, before asking the employers to return to negotiations.

On April 9, members employed by the Big 3, along with their allies, will rally to support bargaining efforts and to call on government and health authorities to take responsibility for their corporate contractors.

Vote totals and more information on next steps are included in the bottom of this bulletin.

Compass resumes talks with PHSA bargaining committee

After walking away from the table in late January, Compass has returned to negotiations with the PHSA bargaining committee. The employer’s change in approach is a credit to the hard work of bargaining committee and member-activists, demonstrating that the actions by members and allies helped pressure Compass to take negotiations seriously.

The union expects Compass to engage in similar talks with the VIHA bargaining committee. The parties have met for three days over the past two weeks, and are expected to schedule continued talks over the coming week.

Essential services update for all members employed by the Big 3

Essential services issues for all three employers are still being discussed at the B.C. Labour Relations Board. Once essential services are established, the union will have the option to issue 72-hour strike notice, should this become necessary.

HEU maintains the position that a return to the bargaining table and a negotiated settlement is the best option for workers, patients and the health care team. The union is also continuing its call on government and the health authorities to take responsibility for the performance of their corporate contractors.

In 2008, Compass reported profits of £662 million pounds ($1.2 billion CDN), an increase of 19 per cent from 2007.

Sodexo and Aramark strike vote results:

Aramark:

VCHA: 97% YES

Sodexo:

Central Care: 93% YES
Foyer Maillard: 96% YES
Fraser Health: 95% YES
German Canadian: 88% YES
Shannon Oaks: 78% YES
Vancouver Coastal: 98% YES