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OPSEU rallies with striking Unifor community health workers

Dozens of OPSEU members took part in a large solidarity rally in Thunder Bay in support of the roughly 65 community health workers on strike at the Port Arthur Health Centre.

“As a union of front-line public service workers, we’re proud to stand with front-line public service workers in Unifor fighting for decent wages and working conditions,” said Region 7 Regional Vice President Carl Thibodeau.

The Unifor Local 229 membersall of whom are women working as secretaries, medical aides and medical records staffhave been on strike since April 9. OPSEU locals from across Thunder Bay and the province have donated “money, food, lunches and a ton of picket time” to the striking Unifor members.  

Members of OPSEU Local 276, who do similar work at the Owen Sound Family Health Organization, have been on strike over similar issues since May 22.

“Two strikes at two different community health clinics — something is clearly wrong with this picture,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

“Ontario just elected a government that pledged to help the ‘little guy,'” Thomas said. “It’s time for the well-paid doctors who own these clinics to get back to the bargaining table and offer decent deals to their front-line workers.”

Unifor members and leaders will be attending their solidarity rally in Owen Sound on Wednesday, July 11, at noon.