Unionized workers supported their bargaining team in contract negotiations with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, held an information picket in the Glebe Friday.
An estimated 60% of the 6,700 members across the province are casual or part-time employees, said OPSEU spokesman Devon Ford, making wages and benefits key issues.
“We’re seeing entirely too many part-time jobs and not enough full-time careers,” said Ford.
Members want more stability and to be able to “go into a bank and get a loan or a mortgage.”
OPSEU Local 497 president Eric Davis of Kingston said he’s been a casual employee for six years, and works four hours a day, seven days a week.
“It is a financial burden because it makes it hard to find a second job,” said Davis.
Sticking it out doesn’t pay off either, since “it takes an average of 17 years in my area to get a full-time job. We’ve had people waiting 30,” said Davis.
Given the union workforce is seniority-based, “we advocate for a merit-based approach, so that might explain some of the disparity,” said LCBO spokeswoman Heather MacGregor.
Casual versus full-time employees “speaks to our need to run the organization like a business,” MacGregor said, adding “no workforce is made up of completely full-time employees.”
LCBO workers recently voted 95% in favour of strike action should contract talks break down.
The employees’ contract with management expired on March 31.
There’s never been a strike at the LCBO, said MacGregor.