Issue 13 - May 10, 2007
LBED locals ramp up agency stores campaign
With a provincial election just five months away, Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED) locals across Ontario are turning up the heat on the campaign to put a lid on private “agency stores.”
“The growth in the number of private agency stores is a threat to every OPSEU member at the LCBO” said LBED chair JoAnn Fisher.
Privatization by the back door
Agency stores are private businesses – usually grocery stores or gas stations – that are licenced by the LCBO to sell alcohol in communities selected by the provincial government.
In the 1960s, agency stores were a way to serve small, remote communities in the North. But today two-thirds of the roughly 200 agency stores are in southern Ontario. Almost half are in growing communities that could easily support a real LCBO store. Others are located just a few kilometers from an existing LCBO outlet.
Threatening members’ jobs
“Agency stores are draining sales from public LCBO outlets,” Fisher said. “They are taking away jobs and hours of work that should go to OPSEU members. What’s more, they set a precedent that increases the risk of larger scale privatization in the future.
“That’s why we’re asking every member – from logistics to retail, from Toronto to Red Lake – to get involved in the campaign to put the brakes on the agency stores program.”
Agency stores are bad for OPSEU members, but they are bad for the LCBO and Ontario communities, too.
In fact, an independent study released by OPSEU in March showed that:
What’s more, agency stores:
Putting the brakes on agency stores
That’s where OPSEU’s campaign comes in. It’s time to put a freeze on the agency store program – and to start replacing existing agency stores with real LCBO outlets wherever it would result in increased public revenue.
Agency Stores: How YOU can help
Want to help put a lid on private agency stores? Here’s how:
June 3-4 meeting set to launch a powerful new Liquor Board Employees Division
The Liquor Board Employees Division is set to take a big step forward on June 3 and 4 at its first divisional meeting since becoming part of OPSEU in 2005. At the meeting, approximately 70 delegates from LCBO locals and units across Ontario will finish laying LBED’s foundation as a powerful new division within OPSEU. Key decisions delegates will make include.
Locals/units may also send alternates and observers to the divisional meeting. Please be advised that space may be limited and that locals/units are responsible for all alternates’ and observers’ costs, including accommodations, lost wages, meals and travel.
By-laws and negotiating procedures
Bylaws define the role and structure the divisional executive committee (DivEx) and other divisional committees. They also set out the process for electing the members to the DivEx – including the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary-Treasurer – and other divisional positions, and how activities will be paid for.
Negotiating procedures set out the rules for negotiating future LBED collective agreements, including how bargaining demands are set by the membership, how the bargaining team will be elected, and how strike and ratification votes are held.
Draft versions of both documents were presented to LBED local presidents in a series of regional briefings in March. Locals were then asked to hold meetings where members could review the bylaws and bargaining procedures and provide feedback to the LBED Bylaw Committee.
The committee will meet on May 14-15 to review the comments sent in by locals and individual members. Final drafts of both documents will then be mailed to each delegate, and e-mailed to local presidents/unit stewards.
Finally, delegates will debate and vote on the by-laws and negotiating procedures – together with any amendments approved by delegates – at the divisional meeting.
Once delegates approve the bylaws and bargaining procedures, the next step will be to elect the LBED divisional executive. Under the draft bylaws, the DivEx includes six members: the divisional Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary-Treasurer, plus the chairs of the Benefits & Pensions, Health & Safety and Education & Communications committees. Other positions to be elected at the divisional meeting include the Chair of the EAP committee, representatives to the Regional Labour Management committees, and two Trustees.
Any member in good standing in the Division can run for election to any position. Nominations will be made at the meeting. Members who are interested in running but will not be attending the meeting must send a signed letter indicating that they are willing to stand for election. Candidates may also have the opportunity to make a brief speech before the vote. Look for election results and other news from the divisional meeting in an upcoming issue of The Echo.
Checking up on health and safety
The LBED Provincial Health and Safety Committee has developed a new tool to help locals make sure members’ health and safety issues are being identified and dealt with. The new “Local Tour Health and Safety Checklist” is designed for local presidents or stewards to use whenever they doing local tours.. The checklist will help locals:
collect information about each workplace, confirm that health and safety committees and/or representatives are in place, and identify key health and safety concerns that need to be followed up.
“The new checklist does not replace the inspection forms that worker health and safety representatives should be completing every month at each worksite,” said Denise Davis, chair of the PH&SC. “Instead, the checklist will help locals make sure the monthly inspections are happening, and that issues are being dealt with quickly and effectively.” Local presidents can pick up copies of the new checklist at their OPSEU regional office or download it from the LBED health and safety web page at http://www.opseu.org/lbed/health.htm . For more information, contact a member of the LBED Provincial Health & Safety Committee:
Get on the list!
You can receive The Echo directly by fax or e-mail. Just let us know how to reach you. Give us your secure e-mail address or fax number by calling OPSEUdirect at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888. The Echo is authorized for distribution by JoAnn Fisher, Chair, Liquor Board Employees Division, and Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President.
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Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 100 Lesmill Rd. Toronto, ON M3B 3P8 (416) 443-8888 www.opseu.org
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