Sundre care facility part of larger trend of resurging union movement
EDMONTON – Front-line care workers at the Sundre Seniors’ Supportive Living Facility have joined the growing number of workers turning to unions, says the Alberta Union of provincial Employees (AUPE).
About 40 auxiliary nursing-care staff at the site will now be represented by AUPE, following a successful vote overseen by the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB).
“We are seeing more workers turning to unions to protect their rights against continuing attacks from employers,” says Bonnie Gostola, vice-president of AUPE, Western Canada’s largest union with 95,000 members.
“AUPE is currently negotiating 15 first contracts where workers have voted to join the union. We are constantly hearing from others seeking the strength and protections that comes from solidarity,” she says.
“Front-line workers who were praised as heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic are realizing they have real power, especially in a tight labour market. They are in no mood to accept rollbacks or unfair treatment after all they have suffered and all they have done for others over the last two years.”
Workers at the Sundre facility are, in fact, rejoining AUPE. They had belonged to the union when the facility was operated by Mountain View Seniors’ Housing, but nursing-care operations were handed over to Bethany Care Society in April 2021, which resulted in them losing their unionized status.
“We are delighted to welcome back these workers to the AUPE family,” says Gostola.
“If any operators out there think they can bypass us by switching employers or who think they can avoid us when opening new facilities, they’d better think again. We see you. And we’re ready.”
AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola is available for comment.
For information, please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer at 403-831-4394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.