Political protest lines at Burnaby Hospital highlight facility’s threatened closure, privatization by Campbell government

Health care workers and other union members from across the country were on hand Tuesday morning to show their support for HEU’s protest action against the Campbell government’s extreme health care agenda, which saw protest lines go up around Burnaby Hospital.

The action lasted from 6 a.m. until just before noon, and was strongly backed by Registered Nurses. B.C. Nurses Union president Debra McPherson joined the protest line as did CUPE national leaders Judy Darcy and Claude Généreux, B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair, and IWA president Dave Haggard. In another show of solidarity, a large number of delegates attending the Canadian labour congress convention in Vancouver were also there.

The protesters’ goal was to draw attention to the threatened closure of Burnaby Hospital, which could be the first urban casualty of Gordon Campbell’s reckless agenda of health care cuts. And HEU Burnaby Local members were also angered by recent small-scale privatization moves at their facility that will cost the Fraser Health Authority more than providing the services in-house.

Calling the action a success in the fight against the Liberal government, HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt says it’s a sign of the opposition to Campbell’s right-wing policies that are endangering the health and well being of British Columbians.