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Collective Bargaining Bulletin Issue #4 – April 3, 2009

We the North
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Union files for conciliation to encourage employer to bargain

The OPSEU bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division has filed for conciliation in negotiations with the LCBO.

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"Filing for conciliation means we’re at the table to bargain and we’re serious," OPSEU team chair Vanda Klumper said last night. "If we need third-party help to get the collective agreement our members need, then that’s what we’re going to do."

Under the Labour Relations Act, conciliation means that the Office of Mediation of the Ontario Ministry of Labour will appoint a conciliation officer to act as a neutral third party to work with both sides. The appointment usually takes about five days, said OPSEU Senior Negotiator Rob Field.

"We would expect a conciliation officer to contact us shortly," he said.

Prior to filing for conciliation yesterday, each one of the seven OPSEU team members made a presentation to the employer team about an aspect of the union’s overall bargaining position.

"There is a strong sense on our side of the table that the employer is not willing to engage on any of our issues," said Vanda Klumper. "We hope conciliation will change that."

The parties have agreed to keep bargaining April 6-9 and April 14-16 as scheduled.

"We’re going to do everything we can to develop our proposals in a way that encourages the employer to bargain," said Klumper.

Spotlight on profit

Last year the LCBO sent $1.345 billion in pure profit plus $382 million in taxes directly to the provincial government.

What’s amazing is that this money – $1.727 billion – was generated from the work of only 6,000 OPSEU members plus management. Queen’s Park gets over $4,000 a week, 52 weeks a year, from every single worker.

So how does this measure up to other companies? Well, Wal-Mart is a highly successful retailer, just like the LCBO. Last year, Wal-Mart made $13.4 billion in profits. That’s a lot, but here’s the catch: The company needed 1.8 million employees to do it. Wal-Mart’s profits are $143 per week per worker.

What this means is that the LCBO makes close to 30 times the profit per worker that Wal-Mart makes.

Just something to think about.

Recession hits home for three bargaining team members

Jobs at the LCBO are the only source of income for many families in this recession, says OPSEU bargaining team member Dora Robinson.

She should know. The economic downturn means her husband, until lately a busy drywaller, is now out of work. New homebuilding has largely shut down in the once-booming suburbs outside Toronto.

"He didn’t work last week, he worked a bit this week, he won’t work next week," she said. "There’s nothing out there."

Robinson’s home in Aurora will soon be a much busier place. Her daughter and son-in-law and their three-month-old son are moving in next month.

"My son-in-law is working, but they can’t find daycare they can afford right now, so for the next little while my daughter will be staying home with the baby," she said.

In Oshawa, trouble in the auto sector is hitting home for team member Tracy Vyfschaft and vice-chair Denise Davis. Both their husbands get their last paycheque from General Motors this summer. Both families fear they won’t get severance pay or pension money they are owed if (as many fear) GM files for bankruptcy.

"It’s all up in the air right now," says Vyfschaft. "We’re stressed."

"At the bargaining table we know that people depend on LCBO jobs to put food on the table and a roof over their heads," Robinson said. "We also know that a lot of members were struggling even before the recession came along.

"It just makes us more determined to bring home a contract that meets the needs of all our members."

OPSEU mobilizers help open new store

Mississauga mayor voices support for publicly-run LCBO

Five OPSEU mobilizers were on hand last Friday for the grand opening of the LCBO’s newest store at 65 Square One Dr. in Mississauga.

The big new store is home to a lot of new members for Local 288.

"Our purpose in going to the opening was to introduce myself to the staff that were new to my local, put up our union bulletin board, and talk about events that are ahead in bargaining," said Local 288 president Frank Gullace. "We basically went there to support the opening. The more openings we have, the more jobs will be created. We congratulated the manager, and he welcomed us with open arms."

Manager Leighton Wills also welcomed LCBO CEO Bob Peter, MADD Canada’s Andrew Murie, and Hazel McCallion, the legendary mayor of Mississauga. McCallion applauded the LCBO’s status as a publicly-owned liquor retailer.

Meet your mobilizers!

OPSEU mobilizers are your co-workers at the LCBO. They’re the direct link between you and your bargaining team. The following people are assigned as mobilizers in the OPSEU locals indicated.

Guy Jeremschuck: Local 162

Dave Holmes: Local 163

Mike Robertson: Local 164

Mike Sullivan: Local 165

Bonnie Jolley: Local 284

Paula Sossi: Local 285

Deb Altoft: Local 286

Shawn Swayze: Local 287

Matt Savelli: Local 287

Frank Gullace: Local 288

Maria Bauer: Locals 375, 376

Doug Parks: Locals 377, 378

Eileen Allen: Local 379

Terri Taylor: Locals 497, 498

Devon Ford: Locals 499, 4100

Kevin Ramsay: Locals 5107, 5110

Roberto Ianni: Locals 5108, 5111

Craig Hadley: Locals 5109, 5110, 5111

Mellisa Jackson: All Locals in OPSEU Region 6

Anne Makela: All Locals in Region 7

Your bargaining team

The OPSEU bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division consists of seven members:

Vanda Klumper, Chair, OPSEU Local 165 vklumper@rogers.com

Denise Davis, Vice-Chair, Local 378 djdcones@yahoo.ca

Dora Robinson, Local 376 dora.robinson@gmail.com

Tracy Vyfschaft, Local 377 tcshaft@xplornet.com

Lori Davis, Local 499 loridavis@xplornet.com

Colleen MacLeod, Local 5107 colleenmacleod@opseu5107.org

Laurie Miller, Local 682 lauriem3@sympatico.ca

The bargaining team is assisted by OPSEU Senior Negotiator Rob Field, Senior Researcher Joyce Hansen, and other assigned staff.

 

EAP Hotline: 1-800-263-1401

The LCBO Employee Assistance Program is a confidential, hassle-free counseling service for eligible LCBO employees and their immediate families. For assistance, call 1-800-263-1401.

Your 2009 Bargaining Bulletin is authorized for distribution by:

Vanda Klumper, Chair,
Liquor Board Employees Division

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU
Ontario Public Service Employees Union