Unifor mourns Sheila Yakovishin, PSW in Windsor LTC home, lost to COVID-19

WINDSOR – Unifor, its Local 2458, and the wider Windsor community began the New Year in mourning of health care worker and fellow union member Sheila Yakovishin, 60.

“On behalf of our union, I express the deepest condolences to Sheila’s family and all those who knew and loved her. Unifor mourns with you, as we decry her preventable death,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Yakovishin passed away on December 31, 2020 with COVID-19. The LTC home that Yakovishin worked at for more than 30 years, Berkshire Care Centre, is in severe outbreak with 82 residents and 38 staff having tested positive for COVID-19.

“As the New Year begins, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage unchecked in Ontario’s for-profit long-term care homes. It must be stopped, we must protect health care workers from this disease,” continued Dias. “Ontario should have learned its lesson during the first wave, but LTC workers and residents are still left at risk across the province.”

Many for-profit LTC homes in the Windsor Region are experiencing severe COVID-19 outbreaks, with some having more than 100 residents and staff infected.

“These rising statistics of infections among workers in Windsor’s for-profit LTC centres are more than numbers. They are people like Sheila, with full lives to live, people who deserve like we all do, to come home safe from work,” said Tullio DiPonti, President of Unifor Local 2458.

Unifor has long campaigned for an end to profit-driven LTC in Ontario and across the country, and is a partner in the Care not Profits provincial campaign, found at carenotprofits.ca.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.