Hospital laundry workers are taking to the street to protect their jobs.
Rallies will be held in a number of communities, including Vernon, Monday, to pressure the Interior Health Authority not to privatize laundry services.
“We’re hoping IHA makes the right decision and shows a commitment to protect a quality public health service and decent jobs in these communities,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Hospital Employees Union secretary-business manager.
IHA is expected to make a decision soon on the future of laundry services at 11 hospitals.
The union says contracting out of the service would impact 175 jobs.
Nearly 13,000 residents signed a petition opposing contracting out and local governments in Nelson, Kamloops, Vernon, Summerland, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House raised concerns with the government and IHA about privatizing laundry.
“There has been tremendous support and a huge public outcry,” said Whiteside, adding that a university economist found no valid business case for contracting out the work, after reviewing IHA documents.
The Vernon rally Monday will be held from 7 to 7:15 a,m. in front of Vernon Jubilee Hospital.