LCBO workers vote to ratify agreement that “reopens” if Bill 124 is repealed or overturned

LCBO: Essentially Yours over an illustration of dozens of people behind an LCBO store

Toronto – LCBO workers have voted to accept the three-year tentative agreement hammered out by their bargaining team.  In the face of draconian cuts initially tabled by the employer, the team did a great job beating back significant concessions.

“I’d like to congratulate the bargaining team for doing an excellent job under very difficult circumstances,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Despite the heavy constraints of the government’s bargaining-cap law, Bill 124, they got the best deal they could for the front-line heroes risking their lives every day at the LCBO.

“Better yet, the bargaining team convinced the employer to agree to reopen wage negotiations if Bill 124 is repealed, amended, or overturned,” said Thomas. “But I hope the government is paying attention: there is a good deal of unhappiness around the bargaining constraints imposed by Bill 124.”

OPSEU/SEFPO has filed a Charter challenge against Bill 124 and its unconstitutional attack on bargaining rights. But until the challenge is heard, the bargaining team and the employer must abide by Bill 124.

“These front-line heroes are being told that sick days for casuals or stronger privatization protections are not possible because of Bill 124,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “The government should come to its senses and finally see that now is not the time to attack front-line public sector workers, who risked their lives every day.”

Colleen MacLeod, the chair of the bargaining team, said LCBO workers are proud of the work they do, and are especially proud of the work they’ve done on the front lines of the pandemic.

“Our members have been risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic from the start. We had to fight to get plexiglass and other basic PPE. And we were never offered pandemic pay like other retail and public service workers,” said MacLeod. “As a bargaining team, we were going to make sure that our members finally get some relief and recognition when Bill 124 is repealed or overturned.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931