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Striking LifeLabs members feel the solidarity at Rally for a Living Wage

While the striking Local 5119 bargaining team went back to the table with LifeLabs today, OPSEU/SEFPO members were joined in solidarity by other unions at a rally outside LifeLabs Head Office. The message was clear: LifeLabs is a billion dollar company that can afford to pay a living wage to all their workers.

OPSEU/SEFPO members were joined by Labour Council President Andria Babbington, ATU Canada Vice President Eric Tuck, along with members from UFCW, ATU, CUPE 4400 and ETFO at the rally.

The rally was hosted by Region 5 RVP Edie Strachan, and OPSEU/SEFPO leaders travelled in from across the province to support the local. Strikers received strong messages of solidarity from President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, First Vice President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, Region 3 RVP Sara Labelle, Region 7 RVP Ed Arvelin, Region 6 RVP Tara Maszczakiewicz, Region 1 RVP Laurie Nancekivell, Region 5 EBM Julius Arscott, Region 1 EBM Geoff Cain (who is also their sector chair), Region 5 RVP-elect J.P. Hornick and Region 5 EBM-elect Coleen Houlder. Also present were members of the OPSEU/SEFPO Coalition of Racialized Workers, the Greater Toronto Area Council, and members from many locals across the GTA.

Local 5119 Treasurer Maria Calingaon was presented with generous solidarity donations to their strike fund from ATU Canada, OPSEU/SEFPO Region 3, and OPSEU/SEFPO Locals 524, 528 and 546.

About OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5119

The newly-organized GTA LifeLabs couriers and mailroom clerks are bargaining their first contract and have been on strike since March 14th. They’re striking over wages, benefits, sick time, full-time status, mileage and vacation. The starting wage for these workers is $15.55 per hour, and it currently takes eight years to get to the top of their wage grid of $21.04 per hour.

LifeLabs couriers collect tens of thousands of blood samples, COVID-19 swabs and other specimens from hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies across the GTA every day and deliver them to LifeLabs laboratories for analysis. Mailroom clerks process all incoming and outgoing deliveries and keep the labs running. They are health care heroes who deserve a living wage.

OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5119 thanks everyone who came out today to support their striking members!