“Our new contract is one element in our fight for good jobs, and that’s a fight that’s going on across Ontario." - Denise Davis, OPSEU LBED Bargaining Chair.
Toronto (05 June 2013) – Unionized Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) employees have ratified a new four-year collective agreement with the Crown-owned retail giant.
Ratified contract brings improvements
The agreement, reached within a few hours of the May 17 strike deadline, provides for some improvements and more full-time jobs for the 7,000 members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) in the Liquor Board Employees Divison (LBED). The union also fought off a long list of concession demands. But, the critical issue of the employer’s overuse of ‘casual’ workers remains.
“The vote to accept this contract is a clear statement that the bargaining team did a good job for the members, and the members are united to keep up the fight for good jobs at the LCBO,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas when the final count was in.
90 days to resolve issue of casual workers
Last month, OPSEU/NUPGE filed a wage discrimination claim against the LCBO and the Ontario government, saying that the LCBO has deliberately created a core workforce of mainly women who management classifies as ‘casuals’. It does this so it can pay them 23 to 38 per cent less than full-time employees and restrict benefits and promotions, says the legal claim.
The ratified contract gives the union and management 90 days to meet to try to resolve the issue. It does not prohibit the union from proceeding with its application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario if no resolution is reached.
Stable employment is not too much to ask for
LBED bargaining chair Denise Davis welcomed the news of the ratification.
“Our new contract is one element in our fight for good jobs, and that’s a fight that’s going on across Ontario,” said Davis. “The public understands what we’re working toward because far too many Ontarians are in the same boat. Stable employment is not too much to ask for or expect. And I’m proud of what our members have achieved by standing together.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE