More than 100 local LBED leaders, mobilizers, bargaining team members and OPSEU staff will attend a special one-day meeting May 4 in Toronto to finalize plans in preparations for a possible strike in the event that contract talks with the LCBO break down.
“With only 13 days to go before our strike deadline this meeting is of vital importance,” said bargaining team chair Denise Davis. “While our bargaining continues we must be prepared to meet any contingency and that means getting together to finalize our strategy.”
The Saturday meeting will include several elements. One group will meet with a representative of OPSEU’s financial unit to review strike finances, including strike pay and benefits. Others will focus on operating a strike headquarters, picket line duties and fine-tuning media relation and communication skills.
“As we’ve emphasized all along we never negotiate with the intention of going on strike,” said Davis. “But it is absolutely necessary that we be prepared. This meeting will achieve that goal.”
The bargaining team has been meeting with the employer since mid-February with very little progress having been made. The employer continues to drag its feet and stall, hanging on to their outrageous concession package.
Negotiations resumed this week and bargaining dates are scheduled between now and the strike deadline of May 17, including the weekend of May 11-12.
“We are actively involved in talks at this point,” said Mirla Alvarado Fenn chief negotiator for the liquor board employees. “We have a full schedule of dates ahead of ourselves. As long as we’re still at the table, that’s a good thing even though the employer has not responded to many of our proposals.” Key issues at the table for LBED are wages and benefits, job security and health and safety. The contract with the LCBO expired March 31.
OPSEU Communications [French]