Victory for government workers and for employees of crown agencies like the LCBO
Toronto (7 Nov. 2006) - Three years after promising to restore successor rights to Crown employees, the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty has finally tabled a bill in the provincial legislature. If passed the new law will give Crown employees the same rights already enjoyed by other Ontario workers.
Successor rights give unionized workers whose work is sold or transferred to a new employer the legal right to move with their jobs with their union and their collective agreement intact.
“This legislation happened because our members have kept the political fires burning under successor rights for more than 10 years,” says Eric Morin of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). “This is a huge victory for all our members, but especially our activists who never stopped believing that ‘same rights’ could become a reality.”
The restoration of successor rights also helps over 6,000 OPSEU members who work at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and other crown agencies.
“The current government has said quite clearly that it will not privatize the LCBO, but governments come and government go,” notes OPSEU president Leah Casselman. “Restoring successor rights makes privatization a more expensive option for any government in the future, and therefore it should be less likely to happen.”
The government also introduced “whistle-blower” protections for Crown employees who speak up about wrongdoing. Employees will now be able to go directly to the Integrity Commissioner without fear of reprisal.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” says Morin. “We need time to look at it and determine exactly what it means, but as long as the Integrity Commissioner’s office has the resources it needs, I think it’s a positive move.” NUPGE