MONTREAL, May 11, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Some 3000 workers in 42 private seniors' residences are on strike today to protest the impasse in the negotiation of the salary clauses of their collective agreements.
"This first strike day is a warning for employers. Strikers have a mandate to go as far as they need to, including calling an unlimited general strike. Not to mention that other unionized workers in other residences are currently seeking a strike mandate. Our objective is simple: workers are demanding a minimum of $15 an hour instead of the current average of $12.50 an hour," said Richard Belhumeur, President of the Syndicat québécois des employées et employés de service (FTQ).
Together, we can do it!
Yesterday, workers at Manoir Le Sapinois in Pincourt reached a new collective agreement that incorporates many of the union's demands. For example, beneficiary attendants at the top of the salary scale will immediately be earning $15 an hour, and could be earning $16.87 an hour by the end of the collective agreement. At Manoir Outremont, unionized workers will soon be voting on an offer that the bargaining committee believes meets the standards adopted by the SQEES-FTQ.
"The smaller, independent residences appear to think that their employees' work has a certain amount of value. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the large groups (Chartwell, Réseau Sélection, Groupe Maurice Santé Sedna, Cogir), which are being extremely difficult at the bargaining table. While they invest billions of dollars building new residences, they are offering very little to the people who care for the seniors, the backbone of their operations, generating profit and enabling expansion. They can take this to the bank: the mobilization is gaining momentum, and workers will not hesitate to exercise their right to strike if employers don't start taking them seriously," warned Richard Belhumeur.
The SQEES-FTQ represents 25 000 members throughout Quebec, most of them in the health and social services sector. It is the largest union in private seniors' residences. It is affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec, the largest union central in Quebec, with more than 600 000 members.
SOURCE Syndicat québécois des employées et employés de service, section locale 298 (FTQ)
For further information: Benoit Hamilton, Communications Consultant, SQEES-FTQ, 514-347-9836