GreenShield call centre shut amid Unifor strike

Online services not impacted

GreenShield call centre shut amid Unifor strike

Life & Health

By Terry Gangcuangco

Non-profit health and benefits company GreenShield has issued a service update amid the ongoing strike by Unifor-represented workers in Windsor and Toronto.

“GreenShield is disappointed by the decision of Unifor Locals 240 & 673 to strike instead of continuing to bargain,” the company said on Monday (March 4).

“We remain optimistic that a settlement will be reached through constructive and focused discussions. In the meantime, we have strong contingency plans in place, which we will leverage to provide essential services for our valued clients, including the vulnerable communities we support across the country.  

“Please note that our call centre is closed; however, our online services, where almost 95% of our claims are typically submitted, will continue to be available and will not be impacted by the Unifor strike. We encourage you to use these services where possible as we work to mitigate any service impacts.”

The statement comes after more than 600 Unifor members hit the picket line after midnight on March 1 amid issues surrounding fair wages, job security, and contracting out. Of these, over 580 are from Windsor, and 24 are from Toronto.

Unifor national president Lana Payne declared: “It is extremely disappointing that a deal could not be reached. Our bargaining committee worked hard to get there, but it takes two to tango. We expect the employer to come to the bargaining table with the goal of getting an agreement that our members can support.”

According to Jodi Nesbitt, president of Unifor Local 240, assurances have not been provided that “work would not be taken away” from their members, whose roles span adjudicators and call centre representatives, as well as positions in accounting, client administration, and IT services.

Unifor Local 673 president Maryellen McIlmoyle added: “GreenShield purchased a lot of entities over the years, and we just want to ensure job security isn’t being outsourced. This is the first time in 65 years in GreenShield’s existence there has been a strike.”

Negotiations for a new collective agreement began on January 15, with the previous contract expiring at the end of February 2024.

 “The Unifor strike impacts GreenShield Insurance as well as GreenShield Administration’s claims adjudication business (formally HBM+) only. It does not impact GreenShield Health or GreenShield Administration’s other services,” GreenShield said.

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