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Striking Port Arthur Health Centre workers organize solidarity rally

April 11, 2018

Thunder Bay – This Thursday at noon, the community of Port Arthur is invited to a solidarity rally with the striking workers of Port Arthur Health Centre.

“Unifor has invited the labour community and welcome all those who support the clinic and it's hard working staff to attend the rally,” said Andy Savela, Director of Health Care at Unifor. "This is about fairness and fighting for quality health care."

The workers at the Centre, 65 of who are represented by Unifor Local 229, have been on strike since Monday April 9 in protest of low wages and precarious employment as a majority of the workers are on contract. Unifor is inviting members of the community and the media to join this organized rally.

What: Solidarity rally for the striking workers at Port Arthur Health Centre

When: Thursday, April 12 at noon

Who:  Unifor Local 229 striking workers, in medical records, appointment secretaries, and medical aides; Andy Savela, Unifor Director of Health Care, Kari Jefford, President of Local 229

Where:The rally will be held on the picket line in front of the Centre,  located on the corner of River Street and Algoma, at 194 Court St N, Thunder Bay.

Over 60% of the 65 women who work at the Centre are casual workers, meaning that the workers have no guarantee of hours of work from week to week. This precarious work situation also leads to a situation where many of the workers are struggling and work multiple jobs to try and piece together a living wage. The union’s bargaining committee said no progress has been made on key issues of precarious work contracts or insufficient compensation for work.

“The frustrating thing about bargaining talks with this unreasonable employer is that the employer is not arguing that they do not have the ability to pay, but rather that it’s seeking to fill the coffers,” said Kari Jefford, President of Unifor Local 229. “All we are asking is that the Port Arthur Health Centre be more respectful and offer fairness to these hard working employees.”

For more information, please contact Asma Farooq, National Communications Representative at asma.farooq@unifor.org or 647-327-9371 (cell).