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Union members picketing Lifelabs location in Courtenay, elsewhere

BCGEU members are picketing the Lifelabs’ Patient Service Centre in the Comox Valley on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Employees, members of the BC Government Employees' Union, are picketing the  location in the Courtenay Crossing (Safeway) Mall on Monday from 7:30 a.m. to Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Similar rotating action is being taken around the province by employees of the company, which provides laboratory services for B.C. doctors.

Job action comes following the failure of day-long mediated talks at the Labour Relations Board on Saturday, the BCGEU said sunday in a news release. The main issues are wages and the employer’s demand that union members accept concessions, the BCGEU added.

Union communications officer Karen Tankard provided the following information:

• The BCGEU has 706 members working at LifeLabs throughout B.C.

• The last contract expired Dec. 31, 2011.

• Bargaining began May 22, 2012 and continued in June, July, September and October.

• BCGEU members voted 98.5 per cent in favour of job action in November 2012.

• Mediated talks on Nov. 27, 2012 and Jan. 19, 2013 produced no resolution.

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