One week to avoid a strike at Villa Val-des-Arbres

    LAVAL, QC, Nov. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The 85 workers employed at the Villa
Val-des-Arbres, a private residential and care facility located in Laval, will
be going out on an unlimited general strike beginning on Wednesday, November
21, 2007, unless their representatives reach a satisfactory negotiated
agreement with their employer between now and then.
    At a Union General Meeting held last Friday, November 9, the members of
the Union of Montreal private residential and care facilities workers(CSN)
voted by secret ballot 100% in favour of this strike mandate. The Union
represents orderlies, housekeeping employees, kitchen staff and laundry
employees at the institution.


    Working without a collective agreement for more than one year now, these
workers are notably asking for salary increases of $0.64 per hour for 2006,
$0.63 per hour for 2007 and a 5% increase for 2008. They are also asking for a
group insurance plan to be set up.
    The Union is thoroughly convinced that the owners of the residential and
care facility have the means to offer their employees working conditions that
are comparable to those that exist in other unionized private residential and
care facilities in the Greater Montreal region. Currently, the starting salary
for an orderly at Villa Val-des-Arbres is $9.90 per hour. The salary demands
would bring the average salary earned up to $12.20 per hour, as of November 1,
    The salaries currently paid in the other job classifications vary from
$9.73 per hour, the starting salary for housekeeping employees, to $12.24 per
hour for cooks. The Villa Val-des-Arbres residential and care facility is
owned by the Ontario company Chartwell, an investor that specializes in
private residential and care facilities. It is managed by the Melior Group.

    Essential Services

    Should the Union go out on strike, the personnel will provide essential
services. It will thus be a legal strike. Over the next few hours, the
unionized workers will be setting up a trailer near the centre that will
become their strike headquarters if the employer chooses to go down the
confrontation path. It should be recalled that the Union had to go on strike
for three months, in 2003.

    About 1,400 workers employed in some 50 private residential and care
facilities are members of the CSN Health and Social Services Federation
(FSSS-CSN). Founded in 1921, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
now represents some 300,000 members in all industry sectors.

For further information:

For further information: Jean-Pierre Larche, CSN Communications
Department, (514) 598-2264; Source: Confédération des syndicats nationaux

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