Windsor-area Lab Techs Join CAW, Labour Board Rules in Favour of Union

March 18, 2011, 10:30 AM EST


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Workers at Medical Laboratories of Windsor have officially joined the CAW after the Ontario Labour Relations Board issued the certification, following months of legal proceedings.

The union won a majority at an OLRB supervised vote on May 5, 2010, despite significant intimidation from the employer.  Following the vote, the employer then challenged the geographic scope and wanted the inclusion of supervisors in the bargaining unit. 

In the OLRB decision, the Board chose to exclude the supervisors from the bargaining unit and to recognize the scope to cover employees in Windsor, Leamington, and Tecumseh. 

"While most hospital lab technologists are unionized, it's rare for those that work in for-profit private clinics in the community, so we're hopeful that organizing this group will have an impact on the industry," said CAW Organizer Luis Domingues.

Workers joined the union because of concerns around unfair wage practices, and arbitrary reductions to benefits. "At one time these employees were treated very much like their hospital counterparts, but today the employer practice is no where near that standard, and is completely inconsistent from employee to employee, even if they are performing exactly the same job," said Domingues.

The certification covers 110 lab technologists, lab assistants, and clerical support workers.  CAW covers similar employees in hospitals across the province, including Windsor Regional Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital. 

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