Strike votes begin at seven more Sodexho sites
Job action at nearly 30 other health care facilities continues Monday
Sodexho workers at seven facilities in the Fraser Health Authority will cast strike votes beginning today as job action covering the French corporation’s employees at 28 other sites enters day five.
The poverty-level wages paid by Sodexho are the main issue. Ninety per cent of the 350 workers covered by the vote earn less than $10.50 an hour to clean operating rooms, special care nurseries and patient rooms.
Earlier this year, Sodexho failed to achieve benchmark cleaning standards in more than half of the facilities it cleans under contract to the FHA according to an audit ordered by BC’s health authorities.
“Low wages are contributing to turnover rates approaching 50 per cent a year,” says Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.
“The solution is for this profitable corporation to pay family-supporting wages to its workers.”
The vote includes Sodexho employees at Chilliwack General, Royal Columbian, Surrey Memorial and Burnaby General hospitals along with Queen’s Park Hospital, Heritage Home (Chilliwack) and Fellburn (Burnaby) care facilities.
Workers voted 86 per cent in favour of joining the Hospital Employees’ Union last year and the union was certified by the Labour Relations Board as the legal bargaining agent this past summer. Sodexho is currently appealing that decision.
At a bargaining session held September 9, the union tabled proposals identical to those tabled in talks covering the 1,100 Sodexho employees currently on strike. Most of those workers earn $10.15 an hour.
No future bargaining sessions are scheduled for either table.
Job action continues today at 28 other health care facilities in the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and in Victoria.