Island and Lower Mainland health support workers deliver over 98 per cent strike mandate

News release

[Burnaby, B.C.] Health care workers employed by the Compass Group and its subsidiary Marquise in housekeeping and food services voted over 98 per cent in favour of strike action, according to results released today by the Hospital Employees’ Union.

HEU members work for Compass and Marquise at acute care and long-term care facilities in the Island Health Authority, Fraser Health Authority and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. Strike votes were taken at 13 sites covering nearly 1,400 health care workers between Sept. 18 and Oct. 3.

“These strike votes send a clear message to Compass and Marquise from our members working in dietary and housekeeping at the 13 health care sites,” says HEU spokesperson Bonnie Pearson.

“HEU members are prepared to take job action, if there is not a new and substantially better offer on the bargaining table soon.”

Negotiation with Compass and Marquise regarding essential service levels are close to conclusion. At that point, HEU and its members will be in a position to take job action.

Multinationals Aramark, Acciona, Sodexo, Compass and Compass’ subsidiary Marquise employ over 4,400 dietary and housekeeping workers in health care throughout B.C. Contracts for these workers expired nearly a year ago.

The four corporations benefited from a wave of health care privatization that saw over 8,000 workers unjustly laid off by the B.C. Liberal government and wages cut in half a decade ago. All four companies posted global profits of over three billion dollars in their last year of reported earnings. Aramark recorded $82 million in profits in 2012.

Aramark and Sodexo reached tentative agreements with HEU bargainers on Oct. 1 and Sept. 15 respectively. Acciona, the fourth and final multinational employer of health support workers in the health authorities has agreed to adopt the industry average negotiated with Aramark, Sodexo and the Compass Group.