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LifeLabs centres to remain open during BCGEU negotiations

Unionized members have been working without a contract since April 1.
21LifeLab2s
Union members at LifeLabs have issued a 72-hour strike notice

LifeLab clinics in Richmond and across the province will remain open as negotiations on wage issues are expected to resume this weekend.

The B.C. General Employees’ Union (BCGEU), which represents 1,550 LifeLabs workers in the province, issued a 72-hour strike notice on Wednesday saying there are outstanding issues after “several months of negotiations, 30 days at the bargaining table, and eight days of mediation.”

In a statement, issued by LifeLabs on Oct. 22, all its centres will be open and operational this weekend throughout the BCGEU job action as they are “prepared to resume negotiations” this weekend.

The lab centres are considered an essential service by the BC Labour Relations Board, according to LifeLabs.

According to the BCGEU, “fair and reasonable wage increases remain an outstanding issue.”

In the LifeLabs’ statement, the medical testing company said this weekend’s negotiation will hopefully “reach a fair agreement” to give its employees the support they need.

“We have worked with the BCGEU to put a plan in place for the essential service levels that we will maintain in order to provide vital outpatient laboratory testing for our patients,” reads the statement.

LifeLabs provides a wide range of medical testing services, including COVID-19 testing.

Earlier this year, 98 per cent of union members voted in favour of strike action and have been working without a contract since April 1.

-With files from Alan Campbell