Hundreds tell Liberal MPP to defend her community in health services restructuring showdown

    NORTH BAY, ON, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Liberal MPP Monique Smith got an
earful over her government's health services restructuring policies today as
hundreds of laundry workers and their supporters rallied outside her office in
North Bay.
    Today's flashpoint in the ongoing showdown over the province's "Local
Health Integration Networks" (LHINs) was a rally to "keep jobs local" in North
Bay. Twenty-six laundry workers in CUPE 4384 face losing their jobs, with 9 of
these jobs being moved 120 km down the road to Sudbury and the rest vanishing
to offset, in part, the higher costs of private borrowing for the new P3
    "Moves like this prove there's nothing local about how health services
are being re-aligned, merged and transferred under the Liberal government's
LHINs restructuring," said Sid Ryan, the Ontario President of the Canadian
Union of Public Employees (CUPE). "Monique Smith is the only politician who is
in a position to do the right thing and preserve local jobs in North Bay. She
must step up for her community."
    The real features of LHINs are coming into sharper view, said Michael
Hurley, President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), the
hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
    "This is the true face of LHINs," Hurley said. "Lost jobs, health
services closing, cost over-runs at North Bay's new privatized P3 hospital and
increased stress on the environment."
    "LHINs are not local, and they're not about health--they're about further
entrenching the market in our public system," Hurley said. "Make no mistake,
this marks only the beginning of the fight over the loss of hundreds of
hospital jobs in North Bay as a result of the huge costs of a private P3
    Today's rally was organized by "Keep Jobs Local!"--a community coalition
dedicated to keeping laundry service jobs in North Bay and raising awareness
of the problems with the province's health services restructuring policies.
    "We will continue to fight this misguided decision to move our jobs out
of town," said Audrey Dwinnell, President, CUPE 4384. "And we're going to
spread the word to other communities to be wary of the Liberal government's
restructuring policies. They don't improve health care and they don't benefit
our communities."

For further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario, (416)
209-0066 (C); Michael Hurley, President, OCHU/CUPE, (416) 884-0770 (C); David
Robbins, CUPE Communications, (613) 878-1431 (C)

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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