In the middle of a pandemic:Food service worker seeks better benefits

British Columbia

Hospital Employees’ Union

“I work as a receiver in the kitchen. That means that I’m responsible for receiving and managing the food supply that’s needed by our kitchen staff.

I’ve been working in the kitchen for eight years. It’s a good, straightforward job. I also work as a casual housekeeper in the same hospital. I find that job a bit more stressful, especially during COVID when there is a lot more contact with other people in the hospital like patients, nurses, and doctors.

When there was an outbreak at my work site, I contracted COVID-19. My wife contracted it as well and we had to take a few weeks off work. It was incredibly stressful at home because we really didn’t want my mother-in-law, who takes care of my two-year-old daughter, to get it as well.

We only have one bathroom in our house, so every time we had to use the bathroom, we took tons of wipes with us and had to disinfect all of the surfaces. We’re in the clear now, but we do worry about getting it again.

It would mean a lot for our work to come back under the health authority. Having a small child at home, I’m very interested in getting better benefits from my job to support my family.”

– Vincent, Food Service Worker, part of the health care team

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