Home-care workers mark 7th week of lockout by CarePartners

Seven weeks after being locked out of their jobs by for-profit service provider CarePartners, home-care workers and their community supporters rallied on the picket line on Thursday, July 18, in Sudbury, Canada, where they called for greater accountability from the Ontario government.

About 30 employees at the CarePartners Sudbury office, members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2020, were locked out of their jobs on May 31 after they refused to accept the company’s contract offer that did not address key issues including low wages, workplace stress, sick leave and turnover.

"CarePartners decided to lock out its employees rather than negotiate a fair collective agreement. They tried to bully workers into accepting a contract that doesn't address their serious concerns," said USW Staff Representative Mike Scott.

The locked-out employees work as home-care coordinators and administration staff. All but one of the employees are women and their top wage, regardless of length of service, is $16.15 an hour.

"CarePartners is a private, for-profit company that is funded by our provincial tax dollars," Scott noted. "We will be calling on the Ontario government to take a serious look at this situation and whether it condones what is happening here."

The locked-out workers were also joined on the picket line by France Gélinas, MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) in Ontario.

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