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Unionized employees at LifeLabs will begin job action on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

Three of the four Kamloops locations are unionized. Workers will begin refusing voluntary overtime and will follow work-to-rule protocols before picket lines go up on Nov. 1
LifeLabs
LifeLabs has four clinics in Kamloops: two downtown, one in Aberdeen and this location in North Kamloops, in the Library Square complex.

LifeLabs employees who are part of the B.C. General Employees' Union (BCGEU) will be on strike as of 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22.

The strike follows notice given on Oct. 19, eight days of mediation and months of negotiations, according to the union.

LifeLabs, meanwhile, said it has delivered "multiple, competitive offers" to the union, adding some concessions have been made already, but with the most recent offer rejected, the two sides have reached an impasse.

Earlier this week, a BCGEU spokesperson told KTW that LifeLabs wages are between 4.5 and 13.5 per cent below public-sector wages for similar jobs.

BCGEU positions at LifeLabs include medical laboratory technicians, technician assistants, client information specialists, couriers and clinical assistants.

Job action will begin with a rally at the LifeLabs Reference Lab in Burnaby on Saturday. Workers will also begin refusing voluntary overtime and will follow work-to-rule protocols.

The latter two measures will be in effect across B.C. at unionized LifeLabs locations, including three of the four locations in Kamloops.

In Kamloops, the three unionized LifeLabs locations are downtown on Nicola Street and St. Paul Street and in North Kamloops on Tranquille Road. The Aberdeen location, on Harrison Way, is a non-union location.

LifeLabs, Canada’s largest laboratory testing service, provides medical lab services and employs approximately 1,550 workers in B.C. It offers various services, including blood and COVID-19 tests.

LifeLabs said it has been deemed an essential service by the BC Labour Relations Board and has worked with the union to ensure essential service levels will be maintained.

"Most LifeLabs patient service centres will remain open. However, some patient service centres will be closed on a rotating basis as a result of the job action starting on Monday, October 25," LifeLabs said in a statement.

Patients with appointments that need to be rescheduled will be contacted directly by LifeLabs. A list of available LifeLabs locations can be found online at lifelabs.bcgeu.ca.

The union has given a deadline of Nov. 1 before workers set up picket lines at specific locations.