59 persons laid off – 25 may be retained ???
29 laundry workers at Kelowna General Hospital contracted out their jobs and awarded a 20-year contract worth an estimated $266 million to private corporation Ecotex Linen Services Inc.
In addition to the Kelowna layoffs, 17 laundry workers in Vernon were laid off on June 1. Another 13 positions at Penticton Regional Hospital, 18 at Royal Inland in Kamloops, and 22 in Nelson, Trail and Cranbrook are on the chopping block in the coming weeks.
After bumping, retraining and posting into new positions, 34 workers will still be unemployed
IHA’s March 2016 decision to follow through with its plan to privatize hospital laundry services in five egions – and lay off more than 100 workers – came after an extensive union-led fightback campaign, which garnered enormous public support.
Nearly 13,000 British Columbians signed a petition – tabled in the legislature – and several city and district councils passed motions to protect jobs and services in their communities.
Although hospital laundry services in the principle sites – Kelowna, Kamloops, Nelson, Penticton and Vernon – are being privatized along with supporting jobs in Cranbrook and Trail, the services in six smaller communities will remain in-house.
They are Golden, Ashcroft, Princeton, 100 Mile House, Lillooet and Williams Lake.
At the time of their layoffs, most HEU laundry workers were earning an hourly wage between $18.68 (Laundry Worker I) and $21.26 (Laundry Worker IV). Ecotex is advertising a starting wage of $11.50 an hour for hospital laundry jobs.