Workers from 10 Quebec seniors' residences go on strike
Union is demanding a salary of $15 per hour and better working conditions
About 950 union members from 10 private seniors' homes throughout Quebec are on strike, demanding better working conditions and an hourly wage boost.
Nine establishments will be affected by a seven-day strike until July 20, and another will be affected by a three-day work stoppage.
These private residences are located in Quebec City, Gatineau, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Montreal, Laval, Saint-Lambert, Saguenay and Lévis.
The service employee union, affiliated with the FTQ, announced the strike mandate on June 27, hoping to put pressure on employers to accelerate negotiations.
The SQEES-FTQ also holds an unlimited strike mandate for the fall, but it has vowed to maintain "essential services" during the strike.
"This is our second warning shot, we have already made a first three-day strike to check the good faith of the employers in the negotiation. Unfortunately it did not produce results," union president Sylvie Nelson told La Presse canadienne.
"What we want is for the negotiations to be successful — for people to be paid decently," she said, citing a labour shortage in the sector.
"We don't want to be outside. We want to be inside to provide services to the beneficiaries, but it is ultimatum."
Union members must make it clear that it is time "to adequately pay the workers of private homes," Nelson said, as the average hourly salary for private home employees, such as maintenance workers, attendants and kitchen staff, is about $13.50.
The union wants that boosted to $15 per hour.
Nelson hopes that employers will come to the understanding that "giving a living wage is not just an expense, but an investment."
Three-day work shortage will take place at Jazz Lévis in Lévis, Que.
The nine going on strike between July 14 and 20 include:
- Appartements du Château de Bordeaux in Quebec City.
- CHSLD Herron in Montréal.
- L'Oasis Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
- Résidence Élogia in Montreal.
- Domaine Notre-Dame in Gatineau.
- Domaine des Forges in Laval.
- Résidence urbaine pour aînés Le Boulevard in Montreal.
- Les Écluses in Saint-Lambert.
- Manoir Champlain in Saguenay.
With files from La Presse canadienne