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MEDIA RELEASE: Seniors’ care workers issue 72-hour strike notice - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

June 12, 2023
Seniors’ care workers issue 72-hour strike notice 

BURNABY, B.C. (Coast Salish Territories) – Members of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) have issued 72-hour strike notice to Lynnwood Retirement Residence as of 9:10 a.m., June 12, 2023. This action is being taken after months of negotiations, and no commitment by the employer to increase wages in line with the soaring cost of living and in turn, address high staff turnover at this facility. 

"These workers are demanding that Chartwell, a company worth almost two billion dollars, pay them a living wage," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "They are fighting for the respect and support they deserve, and the respect and living conditions seniors at this residence deserve." 

The union is seeking wage increases in line with inflation so workers can catch up and keep up with rising costs. Right now, many workers at Lynwood are paid minimum wage and the average wage is just $17.86 per hour. 

"During the pandemic, Chartwell paid executives millions in bonuses while those on the frontlines caring for residents during the crisis were overlooked," Smith continued. "This has undermined working conditions and the services Chartwell provides which is not only bad for workers and the residents, but shareholders should take note as well." 

The bargaining committee remains dedicated to reaching an agreement without commencing job action and is willing to use every minute of the next 72 hours to get a deal done without any disruption to residents. 

If no agreement is reached, job action will commence on Thursday, June 15, 2023, with workers walking off the job and onto the picket line. 

The BCGEU represents 35 workers at Lynnwood Retirement Residence who voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action on March 23, 2023. 

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in British Columbia, with over 85,000 members in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

For more information contact: Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications at [email protected] or at 604-291-9611