Monthly Archives: May 2009

Booze Bucks Support Good Jobs

Working at the LCBO is not as great a job as one might think. Liquor Board Employees, members of OPSEU,  have  been bargaining since March 9 and the company is demanding concessions. In spite of the LCBO’s enormous profits the management is insisting that they be able to replace good permanent jobs with casual ones.  73% of their workforce is casual right now and some have been casual for up to 20 years. They don’t get enough hours to make ends meet, they don’t have benefits and the wages are not high. In fact, 60% of employees make less than$20,000 yearly.

A strike vote is planned for May 22. The public has been led to think that the LCBO is a great place to work and OPSEU wants to get the real story out there. Look for the “Booze Bucks” from your union or at the Labour Council office and hand them in whenever you make a purchase from the liquor store. They won’t buy your booze, but they will boost morale and let management know that not everyone is fooled by the myth of a well-paying government job.

These sisters and brothers are standing up for good jobs in our communities. Let’s stand with them.





The LCBO is not in financial difficulty. Nevertheless the management is pushing for such things as the right to lay of permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees for periods of up to 90 days, to bypass seniority and to establish an automatic discharge penalty. 


Companies are using the financial crisis as an opportunity to attack unions. We have seen a lot of examples of workers having to fight their way in negotiations through a slew of management rights’ grabs before they even get to the issues that cost money. Home care workers, Kingston Access Bus drivers and elementary teachers have all recently had to defend themselves against management encroaching on the right of workers to be fairly represented by their union.


While management salaries have increased as much as 104% in the last 8 years, workers have seen a 20% increase. But 60% of the unionized workers at LCBO are part-time and will not be able to count on getting enough hours to live on if the management has their way. 


May 20 – 22 the Liquor Board Employees Division will be holding a strike vote. A strong statement will certainly give them a louder voice at the bargaining table.

Access Bus Drivers On Strike


Access Bus Drivers On Strike, originally uploaded by bethtelsmom.

Access Bus Drivers On Strike, originally uploaded by bethtelsmom.

Home Care Workers confront Gerretsen

Hired by the Red Cross to provide home care to those who are no longer allowed to stay in the hospitals, these workers are not paid a fair mileage rate and they are not paid for all the hours they work. They get no pension or benefits. Rotating one day strikes brought their issues into the public eyeHome Care Workers confront Gerretsen, originally uploaded by bethtelsmom.

Kingston Access Drivers on Strike

The drivers of the Kingston Access Bus are involved in a labour dispute with the management of Kingston Access Services. They have been on strike since April 16, 2009. The key issues are not monetary, but about basic labour rights, including:

– the definition of an “employee”. Management does not recognize part-time employees as regular employees, therefore they are excluded from benefits and certain rights, which regular employees receive, even though most of them work full-time hours.

– Management refuses to post rules and regulations, both past and present. How can one follow the rules if you are usure of what the are? How can you be sure that the rule you are supposedly breaking has been in existence and is not omething which has just been made up for one particular incident?

– Access to the lunchroom is denied to evening drivers. The lunchroom is locked after 5 pm so the evening drivers – some of whom are female – are expected to eat their lunches alone in the bus if they don’t have enough time to spend their break at home. With the city anti-idling by-law they also cannot run the buses for heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer.