Information pickets take our message across the province: members gather public support for A Better LCBO
The bargaining team asked you to take the union’s vision for the LCBO to the public, and you responded!
Over the past two weeks, members of the public on their way to the LCBO found our members waiting to talk to them, whether it was in Kakabeka Falls, Cornwall, Windsor, Timmins, Niagara Falls, Orangeville, Bracebridge, Toronto, or any one of the more than 40 picket locations across the province so far.
With more pickets planned over the next few weeks (find a complete list of planned pickets here), the public will continue to be shown the clear contrast between what management wants to do to the LCBO, and how our plan could truly lead to a better LCBO.
See the print version, available at the bottom of this page, for a set of photos from recent pickets.
Reaching the public – media coverage from the last two weeks
Local and regional media outlets were out to talk to members at pickets across the province. Members used these opportunities to share with the public the issues that need action at the table. They also highlighted the importance of saving the public revenues the LCBO provides in the face of the Liberals’ continued attempts at piecemeal privatization.
Find links to the media coverage on the OPSEU website:
Union files labour board complaint over management changes to casual availability
As mentioned in the update last week on the casual availability changes, the union is taking a firm position that the changes to minimum casual availability, including changes for pre-96 casuals, and the new availability forms the employer is requiring members to sign, represent a clear violation of the freeze provisions of the Labour Relations Act.
We have heard from many members right across the province about the negative impacts of these changes on you. We’ve also heard that the employer is threatening termination for those who fail to comply with the changes, and that some managers are going beyond the corporate LCBO directions and altering your minimum working conditions, threatening members’ jobs. We won’t stand for this type of behaviour from anyone, particularly a Crown corporation that knows full well that these changes are against the law.
As a result, on Wednesday, May 24, the union filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board, arguing that these unilateral changes to the terms and conditions of employment violate the requirements of the Labour Relations Act.
While we wait for the outcome of this filing, the union is continuing to encourage all members who are required to submit the new forms to comply with their managers’ direction rather than face termination. We are also encouraging members to submit individual grievances over the change, and make it known in writing that the changed form was submitted under duress.
Any members wishing to submit documentation (i.e availability forms, approved leaves for weekends, etc.) around the change in availability can send them to Steve Nield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Challenge period for wage grid implementation is now open
The union is aware that not all wage grid calculations were done correctly, and we are continuing to work with the employer to try to resolve disagreements over these calculations. Any member who thinks that they have been placed incorrectly on the new single wage grid can now file a formal challenge of their placement using the grid placement challenge form.
Remember, these challenges must be received no later than Sunday, June 18. Forms submitted after the challenge period ends will not be considered valid. Please don’t miss your opportunity by waiting until the last minute. If you have questions about the form, or need assistance in filling it out, please contact your local steward or staff representative.
Health and safety update: crowded aisles
It has come to our attention that as the employer has started their strike contingency planning, inventory levels have increased at some stores to the point that they have begun to crowd aisles and hallways.
Members should be aware of the following regulations which require that pedestrian, warehouse and machine aisles are the appropriate width and kept clear and free of obstructions. If you notice something you feel is unsafe, please raise the issue with management and your health and safety representative.
Pedestrian Aisles (Section 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 of the Ontario Fire Code; Section 11 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act)
Ensure there are no obstructions in the aisles in the retail service area. There should be a main aisle with a minimum clearance width of 44 inches and adjacent aisles 36 inches wide. Any objects obstructing the aisles should be removed immediately.
Machine Aisles (Section 11 and 12 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act)
Ensure the clearances between a moving part of any machine or any material carried by the moving part of the machine are adequate to ensure that the safety of any worker in the area is not endangered (example: powered lifting equipment). Check that all obstructions that may cause an employee to trip, fall or create a fire hazard are eliminated. Report to your Manager and the person responsible for the area to have the condition corrected immediately.
Retail Warehouse (Section 126.96.36.199(5) of the Ontario Fire Code; Section 11 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act)
Ensure there are no obstructions in the aisles of the warehouse area. Any objects obstructing the aisles should be removed immediately. There must be one main aisle that is 44 inches wide and all other aisles are to be 36 inches in width.
Health and safety: reviewing some basics
As workers you have three basic rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
1. The Right to Participate
This means you have the right to identify, report, and resolve Health and Safety concerns. In workplaces with more than five but less than 20 workers, your workplace must have at least one worker representative chosen by workers. In workplaces with more than 20 workers there must be a Joint Health and Safety Committee, (JHSC), with one certified representative.
2. The Right to know
Worker Reps or JHSC members, have the right to:
- Inspect the workplace monthly including being present at the beginning of any testing related to Health and Safety.
- Identify hazards, ensure all equipment is in good working order, aisles are maintained and clear, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available and in good order, that potentially violent customers are flagged, and that a system to summon immediate assistance is in place.
- Obtain information from the employer: respecting the identification of potential or existing hazards; concerning the conducting or taking of tests of any equipment, machine, device, article, thing, material or biological, chemical or physical agent in or about a workplace for the purpose of occupational health and safety; and any and all results of workplace reports or results of risk assessments, WHIMS training and updates.
- Accompany inspectors, especially visiting Ministry of Labour inspectors.
- Ensure that Ministry of Labour orders and field visit reports are posted in the workplace.
- Investigate accidents, and receive an annual summary of all workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses from WSIB.
- Recommend solutions in writing to the employer independent of the JHSC and receive written response in 21 days.
- Report and ensure all information received is shared with co-workers and posted in the workplace.
3. The Right to refuse unsafe Work
All workers have the right to refuse work that they believe may endanger their health and safety. If you
have reason to believe any equipment, machine, device or thing is likely to endanger yourself or another person or if the physical condition of the workplace or workplace violence is likely to endanger you, you can refuse work. Conditions do not have to be immediately life-threatening for a worker to refuse. This right extends to proper workplace accommodation. When you act in good faith the OHSA provides you protection from employer reprisals.
Finally, if the employer cites the OHSA as a reason to prevent something at work, such as a union activity or a change in work practices, please ask that they cite in writing the section of the Act they believe would be violated. Please ensure you inform your health and safety representative, and/or staff representative, so they can review the reason given, and take action if it’s believed the employer is using the Act incorrectly.
Meet your mobilizers!
In collective bargaining, power comes from the support of union members. Experience has shown that employers move at the bargaining table when members take action inside and outside the workplace. To help build that power, OPSEU has booked off 15 mobilizers, elected by LBED members at your Pre-Bargaining Conference in April 2016. These mobilizers, who are your co-workers at the LCBO, are on union leave, starting Monday, February 27. They will work to build support for your elected bargaining team and the bargaining priorities you selected during demand-setting.
Meet your bargaining team
The OPSEU bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division consists of five members:
Denise Davis, Chair, Local 378
Colleen MacLeod, Vice-Chair, Local 5107
Jennifer Van Zetten, Local 162
Robin Reath, Local 163
Mark Larocque, Local 499
The bargaining team is assisted by OPSEU Negotiator Jeff Weston, Researcher Steve Crossman, and other assigned staff.
Contact us by email at LBEDbargaining@opseu.org
You can receive this bargaining bulletin (and our regular newsletter, the Echo) directly by e-mail. Just call OPSEU at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888, and give the operator your name and e-mail address.
You can also watch for updates on the OPSEU website at www.opseu.org/LBEDbargaining. And be sure to attend upcoming bargaining information meetings in your area.