Strike voting starts today!
The moment has arrived for OPSEU liquor board employees to have their say.
Voting begins today and continues tomorrow for LBED members to provide their bargaining team with an overwhelming sign of support by casting a ballot in favour of giving our team a mandate to call for job action if contract talks with the LCBO break down.
"I think by now it's very clear to our members that the LCBO has demonstrated no interest whatsoever in bargaining the issues that LBED has identified as very important to us," said Denise Davis, chair of the bargaining team. "By voting Yes we are sending a strong message to the LCBO that there could be very serious consequences by its refusal to negotiate a fair and just contract that improves our working conditions."
Davis pointed out that despite record profits of $1.6 billion in the last fiscal year — the 17th consecutive year of increased dividends — the best the LCBO can offer is a four-year wage freeze, threatened cutbacks to benefits, a freeze on wage progression for all classifications, a lower starting wage for new hires and promotion based on merit [read: favourtism] not seniority.
"Those items are only the start," continued Davis. "The LCBO refuses to make improvements to the Permanent Vacancy Review [PVR] for casuals, seasonals, fixed-term and PPTs and ignores the many workplace stressors and workload issues."
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas told 3,200 participants on two telephone town hall meetings last week that a strong Yes vote for a strike mandate does not mean LBED workers will be walking off the job.
"Let's be clear," said Thomas, "by giving your bargaining team a very strong strike mandate what you're really doing is sending a powerful message to the LCBO to finally get serious about negotiating. The idea is to get negotiations moving forward. The intent is not to go on strike. Very seldom does a strong strike vote actually lead to walking off the job."
Twice in the past 10 years liquor board employees have handed their bargaining team strong strike mandates and in neither instance did workers strike. Instead contract agreements were reached and ratified by members.
The two sides are scheduled to resume contract negotiations on Wed. April 10.
Strike Vote April 8-9
For complete details on how and where you cast your vote on April 8-9 please visit
www.lbedbargaining.org and follow the links
Let's give our bargaining team an overwhelmingly strong Yes vote!