Olg Casino Lock Out
OLG Lockout Shutting Down Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots
A lengthy labour dispute between the government's gaming agency and 124 employees at Rideau Carleton Raceway OLG Slots will come to a head as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday with the workers being locked out. Locked out OLG workers, members of Unifor working at Sudbury Downs, Casino Brantford and Woodbine Racetrack, voted overwhelmingly in support of a new collective agreement on October 13th, officially putting an end to a lockout that lasted three weeks.
Given the corporations history of locking out its workers, it would seem that neither the new CEO, the board, nor the minister appreciate that treating OLG's workers with respect and fairness must be a critical component of any effort to escape the last decade's organizational dysfunction.|||||||||
By forcing employees to give up existing pension language - a huge (and unacceptable) concession by any account - the OLG is hoping it can appear more financially attractive to potential buyers who want to keep costs low by not offering their workers retirement security.
Our members rallied day in and day out to send a clear message to the OLG - that we are willing to stand up for the right to negotiate the terms of our pension plan,” said Dave Reston, president of Unifor Local 504 which represents the Brantford workers.
The new agreement includes language that ensures that after the completion of the sale, the new operator will have to immediately implement a registered pension plan and that the terms of this new plan may be the subject of negotiations within six months of taking from the date the new owner assumed operation of the site.
Moreover, the OLG reports that the RCRS generated $128.4 million in revenue in fiscal 2014 while salaries for the facility's 243 employees (the 124 locked out workers as well as management and staff belonging to other bargaining units) for the year totalled about $12.5 million, or 9.7 per cent of revenue.
The Slots at Woodbine Racetrack will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which will enable OLG to continue to provide the Province and the people of Ontario with contributions for important priorities such as health care, education, amateur sport and charities,” the OLG said in a statement on Friday.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) said in a statement Thursday that OLG sent a letter to more than 400 of its workers saying they would be locked out by the bargaining deadline after workers rejected a tentative agreement during a vote on Saturday and Sunday.
After the sides failed to reach an agreement in bargaining Thursday and Friday. He said the OLG has informed all unions during bargaining, including Unifor, that the future service providers of our gaming sites will be required to offer all transferring employees a registered pension plan.
In fact, despite the workers' absence, OLG Slots has no intention of closing its doors. The OLG, as mentioned above, is owned by the Government of Ontario, yet Kathleen Wynne's Liberals have shown little interest in ensuring that, as a provincial entity, the OLG follow some basic standards when engaging in collective bargaining.
According to the corporation, it is offering wage increases and benefits - including medical, dental, and disability - consistent with 17 collection agreements it has reached with workers at other Slots operations in the province. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
The union said the part-time workers have no guarantee of hours, but are expected to be available for shifts with little notice. Workers at the slots at Sudbury Downs were locked-out this weekend by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The 72 workers - all staff except security - have been without a contract since May 31. They're members of Unifor, who represents 7,000 workers at gaming sites across Canada.
Slots hours have been cut, but the dispute has not affected the racetrack. In 2014 alone OLG Slots generated $128.4 million in revenue, with 9.7 percent of that going toward staff salaries. It's certainly most ironic that a government so vocal on the need to expand the Canada Pension Plan is allowing its own crown corporation to strongarm workers into giving up their long-standing workplace pension plans.
A rally in support of an improved pension plan for workers is scheduled for today at Queens Park in Toronto, according to Gaming Post. However, this labor dispute does not involve the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre or any of its employees. Unifor attributes the strong public support they received on the picket lines and the strength of their public outreach to the OLG's shift at the bargaining table.|||||||||