FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2021
1,550 BCGEU members launch job action against LifeLabs
BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) –B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) members working at LifeLabs across B.C. will commence job action at 7:00 p.m., Friday, October 22. The union served 72-hours strike notice on Wednesday, October 19 after several months of negotiations failed to secure a new collective agreement.
“By putting profits ahead of people, LifeLabs created a staffing crisis across their organization that was causing problems for their employees and their patients long before the pandemic,” said BCGEU president, Stephanie Smith. “They’ve refused to work with our members to address the underlying issues at the bargaining table so, unfortunately, job action is the next step.”
The first phase of job action will begin with a rally on Saturday October 23rd at the LifeLabs Burnaby Reference Lab followed by immediate implementation of an over-time ban—in which workers will refuse voluntary over-time hours offered by the employer—and a work-to-rule campaign—which will see workers performing their jobs precisely as outlined in their job descriptions and their last collective agreement. The over-time ban and work-to-rule campaign will be in effect at all 94 LifeLabs locations where the BCGEU represents workers.
Workers are prepared to escalate to the next phase of job action, which would include picket lines at specific locations, if their employer fails to offer a fair deal by Monday, November 1.
“Job action doesn’t just mean strikes and picket lines,” said Smith. “By taking a strategic approach like escalating tactics, our members are giving LifeLabs the opportunity to avoid more serious service disruptions by coming forward with an offer that gives these healthcare professionals the wages and working conditions they deserve. On behalf of our members and the patients they serve, I urge LifeLabs to make the most of this opportunity.”
Media are invited to attend the rally:
WHAT: Members will be joined by BCGEU treasurer Paul Finch and other supporters for a kick-off rally in support of job action.
WHEN: Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Burnaby Reference Lab, 3680 Gilmore Way, Burnaby B.C.
The BCGEU represents about 1,550 workers at 94 LifeLabs locations across BC as medical laboratory technologists, laboratory technical assistants, client information specialists, couriers and clinical technical assistants. Essential service agreements will ensure that some locations remain open during job action. LifeLabs patients will be able to check which locations are on strike at lifelabs.bcgeu.ca.
View previous media release: LifeLabs workers issue 72-hour strike notice
For more information visit: lifelabs.bcgeu.ca or contact Aaron Donovan, BCGEU Communications Manager at [email protected] or 604 306-9122.
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BCGEU Headquarters is on the unceded and shared traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish) & Səlí̓ lwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.