LifeLabs workers in Thunder Bay are the latest to join OPSEU/SEFPO

Workplace by workplace, LifeLabs workers across Ontario continue to vote strongly in favour of joining OPSEU/SEFPO. The latest group is in Thunder Bay: roughly 50 patient techs and lab workers who’ve had enough of dangerous understaffing and destructive levels of forced overtime.

“To our newest members at LifeLabs: we see you. We see your professionalism. We see your passion. And we see that you’re struggling to serve your community when your employer makes one bad decision after another,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “Welcome to our union – we’re proud to stand with you.”

A private company wholly owned by the OMERS Pension Fund, LifeLabs has a long history of union-busting in Ontario. The majority of LifeLabs workers in British Columbia are unionized with BCGEU, but the company has aggressively discouraged its workers here from joining OPSEU/SEFPO, using anti-union “SWAT” teams to target and discipline workers for speaking up.

Fortunately, the LifeLabs union-busting is proving to be bust – the new OPSEU/SEFPO members in Thunder Bay are just the latest in a series of LifeLabs locations where workers are demanding to exercise their Constitutional Right to unionize, joining others who’ve signed up in places like Toronto and Timmins.

“Every health care worker in Ontario is struggling with underinvestment and staff shortages, but it’s especially tough for workers whose employer is a private company that puts profits above all else,” says Geoff Cain, Chair of the OPSEU/SEFPO Canadian Blood Services and Diagnostics Sector (Sector 19). “These workers can’t count on their employer or the Ford government to have their backs. But they can absolutely count on the 180,000 OPSEU/SEFPO members committed to providing the best health care possible.”

A group of more than a dozen LifeLabs workers in Thunder Bay