The strike comes after months of negotiations, 30 days at the bargaining table, and eight days of mediation, according to the company. BCGEU said in their statement that initial proposals from LifeLabs back in April wanted to take away sick benefits and vacation days.
“Poor wages and working conditions have created a staffing crisis at LifeLabs, forcing them to shut down facilities on Vancouver Island,” added Smith. “Members are fighting for a fair deal that will stabilise staffing and ensure better service for patients. The bottom line is LifeLabs is another privately-owned company trying to protect their profit margins at the expense of their workers.”
The 72-hour notice was released in order to give more time for LifeLabs and the union to settle on an agreement before the strike commences.
‘Impasse’ reached in bargaining
LifeLabs issued a statement responding to the strike notice from BCGEU, claiming that the union rejected its latest offer.
“We have delivered multiple, competitive offers to the BCGEU and reached agreement on several specific proposals – including key monetary proposals,” said the company in a statement. “However, after the BCGEU rejected our latest offer, we agreed that we have reached an impasse in bargaining.”