14 April 2016
Locked out workers at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway Slots today overwhelmingly voted against a new contract offer presented by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Although the new offer was different from the one rejected by workers in December 2015, it still failed to address the workers’ main concerns.
OLG extended the new offer from a three-year timeframe to five years, but nonetheless insisted that workers accept a wage freeze for three of those years. Whereas the December 2015 offer froze wages for the first two years and provided for a 1.75% wage increase in the third year, the new offer provided a 1.75% increase in the first year followed by two years of wage freezes. The new offer also added a 1.75% raise in the fourth year, and then again a wage freeze for the fifth year.
“The workers have told OLG over and over again that they need reasonable raises to make up for the fact that their salaries have been frozen since 2009,” said Larry Rousseau, Regional Executive Vice-President for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) in the National Capital Region. “If OLG really wants to end this lockout, it needs to stop trying to freeze wages.”
“If the message to OLG and Kathleen Wynne’s government was unclear before, it should be very clear now,” added Doug Marshall, President of the Union of National Employees, a component of PSAC. “These locked out workers have become stronger on the picket line over the last few months and are determined to win a fair contract.”
The 124 workers at the Slots will be completing four months on lockout on April 15. PSAC has also served OLG with notice to bargain a new contract for 400 workers at the Woodbine Slots facility in Toronto.