Locked out CarePartners workers set up Sudbury picket line

Workers with CarePartners Sudbury held a picket line rally and solidarity march on Monday. The employer locked them out after the union failed to accept what the company said was its final offer

Union representing administrators who scheduled PSWs says ‘serious workplace concerns’ not being addressed

Workers with CarePartners in Sudbury held a picket line on Monday. The union representing the workers say the company locked them out last Friday. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Workers with CarePartners Sudbury held a picket line rally and solidarity march on Monday.

United Steelworkers Local 2020 says the workers voted 90 per cent in favour to reject a contract offer from the company. The union says it wanted to continue discussions, but the company decided to lock the workers out instead.

"The monetary offer was extremely low," Mike Scott with the union said of the agreement the employees rejected.

"They're also looking to take away the pension for these folks, a weeks vacation and also forcing them to work one in three weekends as opposed to what they currently do [which is] one in four."

The workers coordinate and schedule home-care visits by personal support workers to clients across northeastern Ontario, Scott said.

"Currently the scheduling has been moved to southern Ontario," he said.

"Now you have folks out of Toronto … trying to schedule PSWs up here in the north. They have no idea on the geographical layout. They have no idea what it entails to schedule up here and CarePartners believes that this will be a seamless transition, and it will not be an issue."

Jessica Montgomery with the union says employees want to get back to work.

"My hopes is that CarePartners decides to come back to the table and that we can negotiate a fair collective agreement," she said.

"[As] front-line workers, we're an essential part to making this home care go around. Some of these managers haven't even talked to these clients or personal support workers. We work very closely with our personal support workers to ensure these clients are seen."

About 30 people work for CarePartners in Sudbury.

With files from Angela Gemmill


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