Hundreds of trade union activists turned out early in the morning on October 10 to support striking workers at the Medical Laboratories of Windsor. The rally, set for 7 a.m., was jointly organized by Unifor Local 2458 and the Windsor and District Labour Council and was attended by members from numerous.
Local area MPPs and MPs, including NDP MPPs Lisa Gretzky, Taras Natyshak, Percy Hatfield and NDP MPs Tracey Ramsey and Brian Masse, joined the rally and brought messages of support and solidarity to the workers. The goal of the rally was to pressure the laboratories’ owner to get back to the negotiating table.
“Our members were very pleased with the support they received from other Unifor members and members of the broader labour movement, who came out in solidarity to help push for better wages and to get back to the table,” said Tullio DiPonti, Unifor Local 2458 Secretary-Treasurer.
The 90 members, who work as medical lab assistants and medical lab, have been on strike since October 2.
A key issue in bargaining relates to equal pay as many of the workers are making half of what those doing the same job in a hospital are paid, and several are paid under $15 an hour. Since the Ontario government began to contract out work to for-profit labs, including Medical Laboratories of Windsor, wages for lab workers working outside the hospital system have fallen steadily, while the cost to the system has increased.