SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Service New Brunswick Minister Sherry Wilson:

We are pleased that the Labour and Employment Board has agreed with the government’s position that the actions taken by employees at the Saint John Laundry were an illegal strike.

The government has invested $27 million into constructing a state-of-the-art laundry facility that plays a critical role in ensuring that hospital and nursing home laundry is cleaned to the highest safety standards for use in these facilities. It is unfortunate that what should have been a celebratory first week in production at one of the most modern plants in the country, went the way it did.

However, we appreciate that most of our employees are respecting the Labour and Employment Board ruling and have now returned to work. Properly cleaned laundry for hospitals and nursing home residents is a key part of infection control. It is important that we return to full production today. If we do not, certain functions, such as hospital clinics, would be impacted.

The government is committed to resolving the issues that led to the illegal walk out. However, there will be consequences for those CUPE members who chose not to return to work, as laid out in the Labour and Employment Board ruling.