Yukon hospital workers vote to strike if necessary

The Yukon Employees' Union is asking the Yukon Hospital Corporation to resume talks with hospital workers, after a strike vote last week. Workers voted 87 per cent in favour of a strike if a deal is not reached.

87 per cent vote in favour of strike action if no deal reached

The union representing workers at hospitals in Dawson City, Whitehorse and Watson Lake say members have voted 87 per cent in favour of a strike mandate if the health authority doesn't resume talks. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

Yukon hospital workers have given their union a strike mandate, after talks between the union and the Yukon Hospital Corporation stalled.

The Yukon Employees' Union (YEU) says strike vote meetings were held last week in Whitehorse, Watson Lake and Dawson City.

While the union did not say how many employees cast ballots, it said turnout at the meetings was "extraordinarily high" and 87 per cent voted in favour of a strike if necessary. No deadline has been set.

Staff involved in the talks include administrative, custodial and security workers, as well as laboratory technologists and pharmacy technicians at hospitals in the three communities.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents the hospital workers, is now asking the Yukon Hospital Corporation to resume negotiations.

Earlier talks involving a government-appointed conciliator reached an impasse, the union said.

The union says pensions are a key issue.

The last four year contract between the employees and the hospital corporation expired in August.