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CUPE poll: Community wants hospital laundry jobs saved

'Community does not support the hospital’s choice to kill local jobs'
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Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will be releasing the results of a poll relating to the layoffs of 38 hospital laundry workers slated for mid-March. File photo.

Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will be releasing the results of a poll relating to the layoffs of 38 hospital laundry workers slated for mid-March.

"When it comes to the layoffs of 38 hospital laundry workers, a poll to be released Friday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. shows Sudbury’s hospital and the area MPP are outliers and not in sync with the overwhelming number of people in the Sudbury community who want the jobs saved, and the layoffs rescinded," said a CUPE news release.  

A conference releasing the polling results will be held at the office of CUPE 1623 at 885 Regent St. 

The poll was conducted in the early winter 2016, not long after Health Sciences North announced that it is ending its contract with the local hospital laundry and will truck hospital linen to and from Hamilton.

According to a CUPE news release, nearly 19 per cent of those called chose to participate in the poll, and most polls have a participation rate of between 10-15 per cent.

"The poll includes direct questions about the obligations of large employers and the MPP, to our community," said Sharon Richer secretary-treasurer of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) who is attending Friday’s media conference. 

“Poll results are pretty compelling. Our community does not support the hospital’s choice to kill local jobs.”

Respondents were also asked whether they support the decision by Health Sciences North to sever its long-standing (since the 1970s) contract with Sudbury Hospital Services (SHS) and use a hospital laundry service near Hamilton. 

“SHS is well-known in our community and many know that the regional hospital is an owner of the facility. The hospital’s decision to take its business south and eliminate local jobs is under scrutiny and, it appears is extremely unpopular,” said Gisele Dawson, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2841 which represents the hospital laundry staff.

"Over 6,000 Sudburians have signed a petition demanding that HSN continue to use the local hospital laundry. There are also 1,600 people on a social media group in support of the laundry workers. “There’s a lot of people paying attention to what the hospital and MPP are doing about our situation."

Last week the laundry workers learned that layoffs are being moved up to mid-March from the end of the month as originally planned. 

“It’s extremely callous. Both the hospital and our MPP have had ample time to do the right thing and find a way to rescind these layoffs. Instead they are hastening the job loss,” said Richer.



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