VCHA awards lucrative laundry contract to U.S.-controlled K-Bro
Private company’s recent lacklustre performance in Chilliwack no deterrent
The Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) has learned that the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has awarded a lucrative laundry contract to U.S.-controlled K-Bro Linen Systems despite the company’s short but soiled history in the Fraser Valley.
The VCHA awarded the contract despite the fact that K-Bro has yet to build a B.C. laundry facility. The company currently ships dirty laundry from four Fraser Valley hospitals to Calgary for cleaning.
"By awarding a hospital laundry contract to K-Bro, the VHCA has failed to practise due diligence," says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. "In the company’s few short months in the Fraser Health Authority, K-Bro’s spotty track record — which includes cleaning soiled birthing sheets in household-type washing machines in a Chilliwack seniors’ care facility — demonstrates that it’s not up to doing specialized hospital laundry."
And last November, a Chilliwack newspaper revealed that the company had been operating without a business license.
Allnutt says that it’s scandalous that the publicly-owned and -operated Tilbury Regional Hospital Laundry was not given an opportunity to bid for the work.
"Tilbury is an efficient laundry facility with skilled and experienced workers and capacity to expand. Why wouldn’t the health authority utilize existing expertise within the public system instead of handing over taxpayers’ money to a private outfit with a soiled record?" says Allnutt.
-30- Contact: Margi Blamey, communications officer, 604-456-7094