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Essential healthcare workers at Lifelabs strike for a first contract

Pam Johnson

March 25, 2022

There was an excellent solidarity rally at LifeLabs head office in Toronto on March 24 for Lifelabs workers in their second week of a strike. Members of UFCW, ATU, CUPE, ETFO brought flags and solidarity. Andria Babbington, Toronto and York Region Labour Council, spoke about how, over and over, during this pandemic, employers who are profiting are refusing to share those profits with the workers who made them.

LifeLabs couriers and mailroom clerks, who recently unionized with Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) went on strike on March 14 to demand a fair first contract with pandemic profiteer, LifeLabs.

These workers, in OPSEU/SEFPO 5119 have been on the front line of healthcare throughout the pandemic.  LifeLabs couriers transfer thousands of blood samples, COVID swabs and other specimens from clinics, doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies to Lifelabs laboratories for analysis. LifeLabs mailroom clerks process all incoming and outgoing deliveries and keep the labs running.

These workers receive only $15.55 per hour with few benefits. Their employer profited hugely from the pandemic and is refusing to offer decent wages and benefits. The employer was stonewalling on working out a reasonable first contract for these workers, but the strike has forced them back to the bargaining table. 

How to show solidarity:

Strike contact: Mahmood Alawneh, Local President:

Solidarity strike fund donations gratefully received by Maria Calingaon, Local Treasurer,


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