TORONTO – Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) workers will hold an information picket from 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Calling for respect and a fair contract, the picket will be the first thing visitors see as they arrive for the annual Massive Party fundraiser. The union has filed a No Board, and workers will be in a legal strike position on Friday, May 2, 2014.
What: Information picket
Where: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317, Dundas Street West, Toronto
When: 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, April 10, 2014
Contract negotiations at the AGO began in in February 2014, and there is serious concern about the lack of progress at the table. With just four days of bargaining booked before the strike deadline, there is little time left and the two parties are still far apart.
“It’s time for this employer to show some basic respect to their staff,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The reputation of the AGO is at stake here. Being a good workplace is part of being a respected world-class institution.”
Of key concern is the erosion of good jobs. Five full-time and two part-time positions were recently cut in the food and beverage department and have now been contracted out. Part-time work accounts for two-thirds of the staff positions.
“Staff are deeply committed to the work we do at the AGO. But these jobs are being steadily downgraded through contracting out, cutting full-time positions, reducing hours and shifts.” said Jane Lott, OPSEU Local 535 President.
“We are ready to do what it takes to ensure the AGO remains a place that everyone in Ontario can feel proud to visit,” said Lott.
OPSEU Local 535 President: