Members of the auxiliary volunteer board have been fired at Leamington District Memorial Hospital gift shop after a dispute over operation.

The volunteer board says it has “unfortunately has been the culmination of a tenuous and strained relationship between the auxiliary and senior management team which originated with their failure to address a blatant conflict of interest due to the position of an individual within the senior management team.”

Hospital spokesman Bill Baker says the gift shop will remain open. Baker says the Auxiliary and volunteers are vital to the operation of the hospital.

The Leamington District Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has operated the gift shop within LDMH since the 1950s.

“I am angered and saddened by the unnecessary and drastic actions taken (Tuesday) morning,” said Maureen Sutherland, former president of LDMH auxiliary. “We have exhausted every avenue to maintain our relationships and to come to a mutually agreeable solution with the senior management team of LDMH, and to preserve our volunteer program.”