Workers at the Thunder Bay Health Centre have hit the picket line early Monday morning.
Workers can be seen at the entrance, at the corner of River Street and Court Street and the exit to the parking lot.
The facility will remain open and still provide care for patients during this labour dispute, according to management.
Unifor Local 229 represents around 65 employees, including secretaries, medical aides, etc. The previous collective agreement expired at the end of 2017 on Dec 31st.
“The frustrating thing about this situation is that the employer is not arguing that they do not have the ability to pay, but rather that they want to keep their operating costs low, which translates into profits for them,” said Andy Savela, the Director of Health Care at Unifor. “It’s shameful, as care providers, one would think they would care more about their employees.”
The strike is demanding workers get paid on par with other similar centres across the region. Strikers told TRCCTB that the centre has about 65% of its Unifor Local 229 workforce as casual, with only 22 people having permanent positions, adding that only full-time employees get health care benefits.