SUDBURY, ON – Despite significant job losses to a hospital laundry in southern Ontario and the near closure of their workplace, Giselle Dawson and the remaining Sudbury Hospital Laundry workers continue to advocate for an end to cuts to hospital care. Consistently, the remaining members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2841 have taken part in several large ‘Stop the Cuts’ to health care rallies across the province. Often, they board buses at the crack of dawn to get to the rally destination and join thousands of like-minded defenders of public health care.
On Friday (January 11) at 3:00 p.m., the small, but mighty, group will be honoured for their dedication to protect public health care when they are presented with a plaque at a ceremony at the CUPE Sudbury Area Office, 888 Regent Street, Unit 205.
The fight to save more than 40 hospital laundry jobs in Sudbury that were originally direct hospital jobs, “kindled an activist spirit in Giselle and the local to protect hospital services. Regrettably, the Sudbury Hospital Laundry is a very real example of what happens when health care jobs are privatized. The whole community and local economy lose out on the salaries of those 40 people who lost their job at the laundry,” says Louis Rodrigues, 1st Vice-President of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).
A City of Sudbury report estimated that Sudbury’s economy would lose around $6.5 million per year as a result of 42 laundry workers losing their jobs mid-March 2017. Health Sciences North (HSN) stated shipping hospital linens south would cut $500,000 a year from the hospital budget.
Hospital funding in Ontario lags behind other provinces and patient care is impacted greatly, including at hospitals like HSN that operated at overcapacity all last year, says Rodrigues. “It’s the frontline health care staff, like Giselle, who are allying with people in communities across Ontario and attending rallies and public meetings to advocate for better provincial funding who we will be honouring at tomorrow’s presentation.”
The next ‘Stop the Cuts’ rally is slated for April 23, 2019 in Toronto.