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Regency employees pick CLAC unanimously over SEIU

Clean sweep at retirement home

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - Employees of a retirement facility in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga recently voted unanimously in favour of ending their relationship with SEIU and joining the Christian Labour Association (CLAC). Organizers of the CLAC knew there was unhappiness about a lack of representation and poor service from SEI Union but had not anticipated winning the vote in such a decisive manner.

The overwhelming numbers opting for the CLAC came at the heels of its competitor winning a respectable arbitration settlement for renewal of the collective agreement at the home. The wage increase did not compensate for years of neglect. According to organizer Schat, the fundamentals of union representation are critically important to workers.

The unanimous rejection of SEIU in the December 23, 2010 vote is also a repudiation of pressure tactics employed by the SEIU during the campaign. Regency employees reported being harassed by numerous phone calls and unwelcome visits to their homes by SEIU representatives.

One member commented that the Regency Retirement facility workers suffered from poor service for the five years they were represented by SEIU at Regency. But when they decided to change unions, they could not turn around without tripping over them.

The CLAC represents employees at numerous care homes and retirement facilities in various parts of Canada.