Thousands of healthcare workers across Alberta walked off the job today in a wildcat strike. This action by workers follows attacks on Alberta's public health care system by Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party that seeks to cut, outsource and privatize many of these critical workers' jobs.
Earlier in October Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced his government would slash 11,000 healthcare jobs in labs, feed service and preparation, laundry and more.
A big chunk of the workers participating in the strike are janitorial workers, laundry staff, orderlies, porters, clerical staff, maintenance workers as well as licensed practical nurses and health care aides.
“Anger has been building among members for months,” says Guy Smith, president of the (AUPE). “The recent announcement by Health Minister Tyler Shandro of 11,000 jobs being cut in the middle of a global deadly pandemic was the last straw for them.” The Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) represents more than 90,000 workers with 58,000 of them in health care.
“Nursing-care and support workers decided today that there was no other option but to fight to protect Albertans at risk, especially during the deadliest pandemic in a century. By constantly short-staffing public health care, this government is pushing our members to the breaking point exactly when Albertans need them most,” said Smith.
“Across this province, working people are rising up against Jason Kenney’s job-killing policies and are joining the fight in solidarity. This was a decision taken by the members themselves. AUPE is a democratic union and we respect the wishes of our members.”
Guy Smith, president of the AUPE, addresses the media outside of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of healthcare workers in 35 different cities and towns in at at least 50 separate wildcat strikes.
The Progress Report has received credible reports of wildcat strikes in these locations:
- South Health Campus, Calgary
- Foothills Hospital, Calgary
- Peter Lougheed Hospital, Calgary
- Rockyview General Hospital, Calgary
- Sheldon Chumir Health Centre, Calgary
- Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary
- Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton
- Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton
- Alberta Hospital, Edmonton
- University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton
- Food Service Centre, Edmonton
- Northeast Community Health Centre, Edmonton
- Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, Red Deer
- Westlock Healthcare Centre, Westlock
- Athabasca Healthcare Centre, Athabasca
- Lethbridge Home Care, Lethbridge
- Whitecourt Healthcare Centre, Whitecourt
- Cold Lake Healthcare Centre, Cold Lake
- Leduc Community Hospital, Leduc
- WestView Health Centre, Stony Plain
- Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital, Fort Saskatchewan
- High Prairie Health Complex, High Prairie
- Slave Lake Healthcare Centre, Slave Lake
- Northwest Health Centre, High Level
- Claresholm General Hospital, Claresholm
- Claresholm Centre for Mental Health & Addictions, Claresholm
- Wetaskiwin Hospital and Care Centre, Wetaskiwin
- Okotoks Home Care, Okotoks
- Edmonton Remand Centre, Edmonton
- Evansburg Health Centre, Evansburg
- Strathcona Community Hospital, Sherwood Park
- Chinook Regional Hospital, Lethbridge
- Canmore General Hospital, Canmore
- Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Grande Prairie
- Cardston Health Centre, Cardston
- Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre, Ponoka
- Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, Ponoka
- Drumheller Health Centre, Drumheller
- Peace River Community Health Centre, Peace River
- Lamont Health Care Centre, Lamont
- George McDougall Smoky Lake Health Care Centre, Smoky Lake
- St. Therese St. Paul Healthcare Centre, St. Paul
- Boyle Healthcare Centre, Boyle
- Elk Point Healthcare Centre, Elk Point
- Strathmore District Health Services, Strathmore
- Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, Fort McMurray
- Devon General Hospital, Devon
- Claresholm Health Unit & Home Care, Claresholm
- Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre, Claresholm
- William J. Cadzow Healthcare Centre, Lac La Biche
- Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre, Rimbey
Update: Local chairs voted to end the wildcat strike the night of October 26, 2020.