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2013 Bargaining Strike Vote News Alert 2

LBED Bargaining Bulletin, News Alert 2
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LCBO has casuals in its contract crosshairs

It's clear that no classification of liquor board employees will escape the cutbacks, freezes and concessions that the LCBO has proposed in its so-called contract "offer." Whether you work at head office, in logistics or as a customer service rep, the LCBO wants to steal back the gains we achieved in our last round of bargaining.

But there is one group in particular that the LCBO has lined up squarely in its contract crosshairs: our casual, fixed-term, seasonal and PPTs. It's this group that has the most to lose if the employer were to ever succeed in its wage and benefit freeze and other takeaways.

By a wide margin the #1 priority LBED members identified in our 2012 demand-setting process was improvements to the Permanent Vacancy Review (PVR) system whereby casuals, seasonals and PPTs can convert to permanent, full-time status. Within this priority category were other important issues identified by our members including: improved benefits for casuals; improved language on shift schedules and call backs; shift premium increases and, longer shifts and fewer days per week.

The LCBO has no interest whatsoever in negotiating your #1 priorities.

This is what LCBO negotiators have offered instead: a four-year wage freeze to 2017, including a freeze on wage progression; a review of our benefits to identify "inefficiencies;" unfavourable changes to scheduling at logistics, and to replace our seniority system with one based solely on "merit," [read: favouritism].

"It is outrageous what the LCBO is proposing to take away from us and wants to impose on us," said bargaining team chair, Denise Davis. "The LCBO earned $1.6 billion in profit last fiscal year. Instead of sharing a very small amount of that with our members, it wants to cut our wages, benefits and make no improvements to the current PVR system."

Davis said it is for all those reasons and more that the bargaining team is requesting a resounding strike mandate when a vote is taken April 8-9. "Only through a very, very strong Yes vote can we send a message to the employer that we will never tolerate what they are 'offering' us."

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