BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. Health Care Worker Layoffs To Affect Nearly 1,200

03/02/2015 06:51 EST | Updated 05/02/2015 05:59 EDT
BSIP via Getty Images
Reportage in Robert Ballanger hospital's Intensive Care Unit in France. (Photo by: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images)
BURNABY, B.C. - The union representing health-care workers in British Columbia says nearly 1,200 workers in the Vancouver area will be getting pink slips in the coming months.

The Health Employees' Union says the Ahmon Group has informed more than 240 care aides, nurses, cleaners and dietary workers that it will contract out services at a facility in Surrey, B.C., starting June 1.

The union also says a U.S.-company known as Aramark has lost its contract with Vancouver Coastal Health hospitals and extended care facilities and will lay off 935 staff between Aug. 9 and Sept. 22.

The union has negotiated three successive collective agreements with Aramark, one deal with the Ahmon Group, and doesn't know if the workers will be hired back by the new contractors.

Union leaders are blaming "contracting out," "contract flipping" and the sale of businesses for the layoffs, and they're calling for better protection of workers in the form of stronger successorship language.

They say the B.C. Liberals excluded public employers and publicly subsidized private employers from such language in 2002 and 2003.

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