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Leap Day demonstrations planned by Interior Health laundry workers

FILE PHOTO - Jennifer Whiteside, secretary-business manager for the Hospital Employees Union, speaks to media at a protest rally held outside Kelowna General Hospital.
February 28, 2016 - 2:30 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – The people who work at in hospital laundries in our region will be joined by supporters at a number of rallies tomorrow.

The Hospital Employees Union is fighting the proposed privatization of the laundry service in 11 communities throughout the Interior Health Authority. It says the plan could mean the loss of about 175 jobs which pay $18 to $20 an hour.

In November 2015, new Interior Health president and CEO Chris Mazurkewich delayed a decision on the contracting out the service in order to give him more time to work with a review team before making a recommendation to the board of directors.

Mazurkewich said a decision would be coming before March 2016 and the board of directors has a meeting Tuesday, March 1.

While Interior Health is looking to save money by contracting out the service, the union sees no business case to justify the move.

"There has been tremendous support and a huge public outcry," union spokesperson Jennifer Whiteside says in a media release. "We're hoping Interior Health makes the right decision and shows a commitment to protect a quality public health service and decent jobs in these communities."

The union is holding protests tomorrow, Feb. 29, in six southern Interior communities including Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, 100 Mile House and Nelson.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Howard Alexander at halexander@infonews.ca. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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