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ARCH Hospice workers to picket, highlighting unfair delays for first contract

July 5, 2019 - 12:00 AM

Sault Ste. Marie – ARCH Hospice workers represented by Unifor Local 1359 will picket outside their workplace on July 5 to highlight the company’s unreasonable resistance to fairly bargain.

“Just over 18 months ago, employees of ARCH Hospice voted to join Unifor, so that they could unite their voices to raise working conditions and care conditions at the hospice,” said Jerry Dias Unifor National President. “But they have faced a brick wall at the bargaining table in the form of a high-priced Toronto lawyer, flown in to make certain they do not even get basic contract provisions like seniority, job postings and overtime.”

Unifor Local 1359 represents the Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Personal Support Workers and the chef at ARCH Hospice.   

The union has been in negotiations with the employer since July 2018, but the employer has failed to agree to common-sense proposals that will improve patient care and make ARCH Hospice a better place to work.

“Our community often refers to ARCH employees as angels for their daily compassion towards patients in end of life care,” said Cathy Humalamaki, President, Unifor Local 1359. “These angels want respect and a fair conversation with their employer.”

On May 1, 2019, the union voted 85% in favour of striking should an agreement not be reached and has been working with a Ministry of Labour conciliator to reach an agreement to avoid strike action. The union is prepared to return to negotiations at anytime.

Unifor represents more than 30,000 health care workers, including hospitals, long-term care, emergency services, and community and social services and is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at or 647-448-2823 (cell).