EDMONTON—Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta Health Services (AHS) are moving forward with the 11,000 job-killing privatization scheme Kenney’s government first announced in October 2020, says the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).
Today (Apr. 27), AHS announced K-Bro Linen Systems has been selected to take over laundry services for AHS. This move will kill 428 rural jobs across the province.
“Only Premier Kenney would put health care heroes out of a job in the middle of a pandemic,” says AUPE President Guy Smith. “Privatizing services right when Albertans need them most is disgraceful.
“You don't have to look too deep into this to see that those who suffer most under these policies are the same people Kenney has picked on since he took office: those with lower incomes, women, and others who are the most vulnerable workers in this province.”
Impacted laundry workers are not guaranteed new jobs with K-Bro, but if they do get one, that new job is guaranteed to be worse. AUPE research indicates K-Bro consistently underpays its employees compared to workers performing the same duties in the public sector, nor do K-Bro employees receive benefits.
“It’s not as if these workers will simply carry on as normal with a new employer,” says Smith. “Kenney and K-Bro are ripping these family-supporting jobs away from rural Alberta only to offer scraps in return, and it’s the workers, their loved ones, and their communities who will suffer.”
Privatizing laundry services also compromises quality and cleanliness, as workers are forced to cut corners to meet the corporate owners’ bottom line.
“Clean and effective laundry services are essential to the entire health care system and protects patients, staff, and visitors,” says Smith. “Premier Kenney is jeopardizing Albertans’ health and safety by pushing forward this disastrous privatization scheme.”
AUPE President Guy Smith is available for interviews.
Please contact Alexander Delorme, AUPE Communications Officer: 780-264-9274 or firstname.lastname@example.org