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BCGEU, LifeLabs reach new tentative agreement after union workers begin strike

Details are being finalized, employees will be presented with deal ahead of a vote on Monday
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LifeLabs office on Fort Street in downtown Victoria on October 12, 2021. (Photo by Bailey Moreton)

The union representing LifeLabs employees said they have reached a tentative agreement with the company as of early Sunday (Oct. 24) morning.

Workers still have to vote to accept the agreement and the the member bargaining committee is still finalizing the details. The deal will be presented to workers on Monday.

In the mean time, the B.C. General Employees’ Union (BCGEU)’s overtime ban and work-to-rule job action – which started Saturday – will be put on hold until the vote on the tentative agreement is held.

Workers held a rally Saturday outside the company’s corporate offices in Burnaby.

READ MORE: LifeLabs workers hold rally demanding better wages as labour negotiations resume

“From the 98 per cent strike vote in July to the difficult decision to action that vote this weekend, our LifeLab members have shown solidarity and a willingness to fight to get the deal they deserve,” BCGEU president Stephanie Smith said in a statement. “That solidarity enabled the members of our bargaining committee to make the progress at the table we have now seen.”

Multiple LifeLabs locations in the Greater Victoria area had to temporarily close recently due to staffing issues. At the time, a spokesperson for the company said high turnover in staffing due to the pandemic and higher retirement rates was leaving some locations short staffed.

The BCGEU represents about 1,550 workers at 94 LifeLabs locations across the province.

READ MORE: LifeLab locations in Westshore Town Centre, on Fort Street close until January over staffing issues


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bailey.moreton@goldstreamgazette.com

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