'Once again our members have told this association that they prefer to deal with a professional, member-driven union.'
Owen Sound (19 Jan. 2011) - Members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) at the Lee Manor Home for the Aged in Owen Sound have soundly rejected a raid attempted by the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC).
Two years ago, employees at Lee Manor switched their union representation to OPSEU from CLAC, citing a long list of problems with the union's weak representation and service. Subsequently, CLAC attempted to raid their former members back.
In a vote taken Jan. 17, they were rejected by nearly 80% of the employees.
“Once again our members have told this association that they prefer to deal with a professional, member-driven union,” says OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “They rejected CLAC two years ago and they’ve rejected them by an even stronger mandate this time. Our members receive superior service and thrive within a democratic organization. That’s what makes the difference.”
OPSEU Local 299 president AnnaMarie Hampton-Alcock hopes CLAC has finally got the message that it is not welcome at Lee Manor.
“Two years ago, we voted 75% to bring OPSEU into our workplace in order to address years of problems we had with working conditions in the home,” Hampton-Alcock says. “Under OPSEU we have made great strides at Lee Manor and have a new collective agreement that will form a solid base for our next set of negotiations that begin this year.”
Region 2 OPSEU Vice-President Mike Grimaldi says the vote proves OPSEU is the union of choice for long-term care workers.
“Our members know that OPSEU has the expertise and the resources," he adds. "This ensures they get the support they need to improve their working lives.”
OPSEU represents 130,000 members across Ontario, including 30,000 members who work in hospitals, long-term care facilities and other health care-related professions.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE