Long Term Care Workers Protest Layoffs in Kitchener

July 18, 2011, 11:50 AM EST

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A small group of CAW members made some big noise in Kitchener on July 11, protesting impending staff cutbacks at a local Revera retirement home that workers say will compromise the standard of care for residents.

CAW Local 1106 Vice President Ruth Pryce told the Kitchener-Waterloo Record that the workers are "out here to send a message to the company that we're not going to stand by and let this happen."

"Yes, if affects us, but it affects the residents more," Pryce said.

Workers held an information picket outside the Victoria Place Retirement Residence, operated by Revera.

The company had previously stated its intent to restructure staffing levels for full-time and part-time workers, resulting in layoffs as well as substantial work hour reductions and scheduling changes. The union argues the layoffs being proposed undercut workers' seniority rights and are in breach of the collective agreement. The scheduling changes - done arbitrarily in most cases - have created a greater degree of instability and insecurity for many front-line workers.

The union had previously filed a series of individual grievances and a broader policy grievance in an effort to rectify the matter. The company has so far rejected all grievances. Outstanding issues are expected to be dealt with through arbitration.

CAW Local 1106 represents 70 full-time, part-time and casual workers currently employed at the Victoria Place residence.

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