Health-care workers hit the picket line at Symphony Senior Living Aspen Ridge at 1 p.m. today as planned.
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees representatives negotiated with the employer through the weekend, but talks failed when they said Symphony Senior Living demanded the right to terminate any employee without cause.
Employees rejected the employer’s demand in a meeting with the union held on Sunday afternoon.
Symphony said the unresolved matter centres on the company’s right to remove a worker for non-cause reasons such as lack of empathy, passion or dedication to seniors.
Symphony, a privately owned and operated seniors care facility located at 3100 22nd St. in Red Deer, has 152 suites with a total of 157 residents.
Replacement workers were on the job as about 80 employees, AUPE executives, and supporters wore placards, waved flags and signs as passing motorists honked in support of today’s picket.
Security staff hired by Symphony videotaped the activity.
Early last week, AUPE announced its nearly 130 licensed practical nurses, health-care aides and other staff were set to strike last Friday and Symphony also served AUPE with a lockout notice effective on Friday.
Shortly before noon on Friday, AUPE and Symphony announced they had agreed to postpone the strike/lockout to try to resolve the dispute.