Elizabeth Towers workers waiting it out

Everton McLean
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Company says sides not that far apart

Workers at the Elizabeth Towers assisted living complex were still on strike Thursday and a union leader said the picketers are getting ready for a long wait for a resolution.

The 60 workers, who have been represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union Local 1252 since January and are negotiating their first collective agreement, walked off the job Wednesday after the company failed to make a new contract offer during a morning meeting.

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 1252 who work at the Elizabeth Towers assisted living complex have been off the job since Wednesday. Union spokesman David Hann says they are willing to wait until the company comes back with a

Workers at the Elizabeth Towers assisted living complex were still on strike Thursday and a union leader said the picketers are getting ready for a long wait for a resolution.

The 60 workers, who have been represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union Local 1252 since January and are negotiating their first collective agreement, walked off the job Wednesday after the company failed to make a new contract offer during a morning meeting.

The union has said wages are the main outstanding issue.

On Thursday, UFCW spokesman David Hann said not much had changed.

"Not much is out of whack. It's still pretty peaceful. We're digging our heels in for the longterm," he said.

"We're willing to talk at any time, but until they come with an offer we have nothing to talk about."

Edwina Kirkland, vice-president of Atlantic Canada for Chatwell Senior Housing REIT, the company that owns the complex, said the 90 residents that require service are faring well.

"Our residents are not affected in any way," she said, adding management staff are providing care and meals.

She said there's no plan to bring in replacement workers outside of management.

"If we were to bring in some help for here it would be a management team from corporate office," she said.

While Kirkland agreed the main issue is money, she said the employer and the union are not far apart.

"We've been negotiating with them for the past three months, and we have made every effort to resolve these issues. We've made a lot of concessions with regard to benefits and issues other than monetary, but really it's coming down to the monetary issues," she said.

"We have offered a substantial increase, and it's been reported our workers are the lowest paid, but that's not entirely true. Our workers have benefits and shift differential, so there are other things involved here than just the basic wage," she said.

emclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: United Food, Commercial Workers, Chatwell Senior Housing REIT

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    To work replacement, and Chartwell Reit, these residents are some of the more affluent in our province and the people charged with caring for them are barely being paid over the minimum wage. Try that, work replacement! Clean up after someone who can't look after themselves, and do it all with a smile on your face and the best of bedside manners while not making enough to pay your own bills. $12/hr isn't too much for these people to be paid, but apparently the real estate income trust that owns Elizabeth Towers doesn't like the effect this will have on their profits. Personally, I think I'd rather live my 'golden years' in the Hoyles-Escasoni, where I can rest assured that the workers are making a living wage.

  • R
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    '...getting ready for a long wait for a resolution...'

    'We're digging our heels in for the longterm.'

    David Hann, you're starting to sound like that blowhard windbag Ed McCurdy of the FFAW.

    Did you bring your pillows and sleeping bags ? Do you want management to bring you coffee and donuts ? That would be priceless ! I think the coffee and donut precedent has been set - haha !!!

    I hope it snows soon and the winds pick up to 110kph - haha ! We'll see then won't we ?

    LOSERVILLE

  • Angela
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    '...residents are some of the more affluent in our province...' - Eugene

    I know two residents of Elizabeth Towers and they are not wealthy at all. They just scrape by. Seriously.

    But if those workers are replaced, then they are unemployed. How does that work to get 'people off the system' Work placement ? The numbers stay the same.

  • Work placement
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Hey, I know lots of people that will take these jobs. Where do they apply? Working these hours will grant them more than they receive from welfare, and is that not what everyone wants, people off the system? Let people that want to work take these positions today.

  • Gary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Mr. Work placement knows lots of unemployed people lol

    Nasty Nate knows we're defined by the company we keep

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    To work replacement, and Chartwell Reit, these residents are some of the more affluent in our province and the people charged with caring for them are barely being paid over the minimum wage. Try that, work replacement! Clean up after someone who can't look after themselves, and do it all with a smile on your face and the best of bedside manners while not making enough to pay your own bills. $12/hr isn't too much for these people to be paid, but apparently the real estate income trust that owns Elizabeth Towers doesn't like the effect this will have on their profits. Personally, I think I'd rather live my 'golden years' in the Hoyles-Escasoni, where I can rest assured that the workers are making a living wage.

  • R
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    '...getting ready for a long wait for a resolution...'

    'We're digging our heels in for the longterm.'

    David Hann, you're starting to sound like that blowhard windbag Ed McCurdy of the FFAW.

    Did you bring your pillows and sleeping bags ? Do you want management to bring you coffee and donuts ? That would be priceless ! I think the coffee and donut precedent has been set - haha !!!

    I hope it snows soon and the winds pick up to 110kph - haha ! We'll see then won't we ?

    LOSERVILLE

  • Angela
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    '...residents are some of the more affluent in our province...' - Eugene

    I know two residents of Elizabeth Towers and they are not wealthy at all. They just scrape by. Seriously.

    But if those workers are replaced, then they are unemployed. How does that work to get 'people off the system' Work placement ? The numbers stay the same.

  • Work placement
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Hey, I know lots of people that will take these jobs. Where do they apply? Working these hours will grant them more than they receive from welfare, and is that not what everyone wants, people off the system? Let people that want to work take these positions today.

  • Gary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Mr. Work placement knows lots of unemployed people lol

    Nasty Nate knows we're defined by the company we keep