In the face of deteriorating working conditions and an employer that seems intent on destroying any semblance of good will in the workplace, the leadership of the Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED) will gather in Toronto on June 9.
LBED leadership will join the members of OPSEU's executive board to hear from OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, and First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida.
"The LCBO isn't acting like an organization that wants a deal," said Thomas. "This employer's actions, and the way that workers are being treated, are simply shameful.
"The Liberals held a fancy photo-op this week where they claimed to want to do something about people trapped in unstable, casual jobs. But so far they've stayed silent while LCBO management has continued to take advantage of casual workers right under their noses.
"Why is it that as soon as the Liberals are the boss, all their concern for workers seems to go right out the window?"
Almeida noted that with a $2 billion profit last year, the LCBO has the money they need to improve the lives of workers.
"If they wanted to, management could make worker safety and decent working conditions a priority," he said. "These workers are the ones who are generating that public revenue for the province. They deserve a fair deal."
The meeting will provide an opportunity to brief LBED leadership on next steps, prepare for the potential of a strike or lockout, and provide them with an update on the current state of affairs at the bargaining table.
"The LCBO knows what the options are: the better LCBO we've laid out for them, or picket lines replacing check-out lines across Ontario," said Denise Davis, LBED bargaining team chair. "What happens next is up to the employer."
Information pickets continue
Members continued to hold information pickets across Ontario over the past week. This week's pickets brought the total to 66 as of Friday, June 2, with more than a dozen planned for next week.
In the third week of pickets, many communities turned their focus to job security and the employer's attempts to eliminate any limits on contracting out. Members stood firm on their demand that a better LCBO keep public workers doing public jobs, right here in Ontario.
Check out the full print version below for a selection of photos from some of the pickets held across the province.
Grade your employer! New survey lets members evaluate LCBO management
The union has launched a new survey that allows OPSEU members at the LCBO to grade their employer on four categories – working conditions, workplace morale, safety in the workplace, and work-life balance. The survey also gives workers the chance to answer questions that will help the bargaining team educate the public on what's really going on at LCBO stores, and how bad working conditions have become.
Please take a few minutes to answer the survey before June 12, and watch for an upcoming report card with LCBO senior management's grades.
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.