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Cleaning UpHow Hospital Outsourcing Is Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients$
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Dan Zuberi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450723

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450723.001.0001

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Down and Out in Vancouver

Down and Out in Vancouver

Struggling, Stressed, and Exhausted Hospital Support Workers

(p.81) 6 Down and Out in Vancouver
Cleaning Up

Dan Zuberi

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the challenges faced by hospital support workers in the aftermath of outsourcing. Because their work directly affects hospital hygiene—and thus a patient's risk of coming down with a hospital-acquired infections—the chapter argues that their plight should be everyone's concern. Their lives mirror the plight of a growing number of workers at the lower tiers of the service sector, who struggle to make ends meet with inadequate wages and benefits, even in “progressive” countries like Canada. The growth and expansion of the low-wage service-sector workforce is increasing inequality and fundamentally reshaping post-industrial economies and societies globally. The decision to outsource hospital support jobs also has had a direct negative effect on the families, especially the children, of hospital support workers. Their stress does not stop at the workplace door, and it saps their will and strength.

Keywords:   hospital support workers, contract workers, hospital hygiene, service sector, economic inequalities, family stress, workplace stress

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