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CDHB Food Service Risked By Strike Breakers

Thursday 22 September 2005

CDHB Food Service Risked By Strike Breakers

“NUPE members are calling for action against the firm providing food services to the Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) Hospitals after discovering their role in supporting strike breakers during the five day strike last week,” said Martin Cooney, organiser with the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

He was commenting after members got copies of letters sent to strike breakers by the General Manager of Christchurch Hospital, Shelly Park. “The letter stated that the strike breakers had ‘significantly assisted in reducing the impact of this strike period’, and that Medirest had ‘generously donated meal vouchers for staff who have assisted during the past week, and in acknowledgement of your contribution we have pleasure in enclosing one for your use – enjoy’.”

“Medirest is one of the New Zealand names of the American multi national, The Compass Group. Medirest is linked to Eurest, the catering services company and is a subsidiary of Compass Group NZ Ltd. Medirest is a food provider to the CDHB across the cafes and via Catering to You,” said Martin Cooney.

“Medirest undercuts paid staff by providing contracted out services across all non-clinical support services and therefore has a major interest in breaking the strike which focused on the low CDHB funding for pay rises for cleaners, orderlies, maintenance, clerical and information services,” said Martin Cooney.

“Surely the Board must have realised how incendiary it would be to link with its big business American food provider in dealing with strike breakers by giving them Medirest food vouchers,” said Martin Cooney. “Meanwhile the Union is giving information to low paid members about how to get emergency food parcels to get through a week without pay after the strike.”


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