September 11, 2006: Issue 8
LCBO, not Beer Store, must run new deposit/return system: Casselman
Any deposit/return system for alcohol bottles and other packaging must be run by the LCBO, not The Beer Store, the president of OPSEU says.
“The only way to create a system that encourages re-use of liquor bottles is through close co-operation between the LCBO and the wineries and distilleries,” Leah Casselman said. “The LCBO has a close business relationship and logistical links with its suppliers, and as the largest buyer of alcohol in the world, it also has considerable influence with them.
“In contrast, The Beer Store has no connection of any kind with Ontario wine and liquor producers.”
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty surprised many on Sunday when he said his government would implement a deposit system that would make consumers return bottles, cans, and Tetra-Paks purchased at the LCBO to The Beer Store. The plan will be in place by February, McGuinty said.
“While any move to divert packaging from landfills is a step forward, it makes little sense environmentally to smash bottles, use nuclear power to melt them down, and manufacture new bottles when we have millions of perfectly good bottles already,” Casselman said.
“We need to encourage re-use,” she said. “The LCBO is an alcohol super-power, and as such it has not only the obligation but also the ability to be a global leader in environmentally-friendly packaging.”
Casselman said the Liberals know their plan has serious flaws.
“If McGuinty’s plan is such a great idea, why was there no public consultation? Why did the big brains in the Premier’s office decide to announce it on a Sunday morning before Sept. 11?” she asked. “The Liberals are trying to get credit on environmental issues while avoiding any public scrutiny of what they’re actually doing.”
LCBO recognizes all OPSEU stewards
In a major victory for the union, the LCBO has agreed to recognize all OPSEU stewards as employee representatives.
The agreement signed Aug. 28 settles a policy grievance the union filed in April.
“Our employer doesn’t decide who represents us, we do,” commented Jo Ann Fisher, acting chair of the Liquor Board Employees Division of OPSEU. “This is a major step forward in ensuring strong workplace representation for all our members.”
The full text of the agreement is available on the web at http://www.opseu.org/lbed/pdf/lecagree06.pdf .
Union breathes life into labour-management committees
For the first time in five years, the LCBO and its union will sit down face-to-face for a meeting of the provincial labour-management committee (LMC).
Labour-management committees are the regular meeting place for unions and employers between rounds of collective bargaining. LMCs discuss any and all topics related to the workplace and try to solve problems as they crop up.
The contract between LCBO and OPSEU spells out the rules for provincial and regional LMCs (Appendix 3, Article 3).
The LCBO and OPSEU will meet Oct. 6 for the provincial committee meeting.
In addition to the provincial LMC, union and employer representatives will also meet at the regional level and locally at the Durham, London, and Ottawa warehouses, as soon as meeting dates can be confirmed.
In the case of the regional LMCs, the OPSEU chairs are the regional directors on the executive of the Liquor Board Employees Division: Ron Kennedy (Central), Vanda Klumper (Western), Elie Naufal (Eastern), Charlie More (Northern), and Doug Elder (Head Office and Toronto warehouse). LCBO retail locals should be in touch with the LBED director in their area to help shape the agenda for the meetings.
Notice to local presidents:
The OPSEU provincial health and safety committee at the LCBO is updating its list of health and safety activists. The committee is asking all local presidents with members at the LCBO to send the following information to chair Denise Davis at email@example.com:
Get on the list!
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The Echo is authorized for distribution by Jo Ann Fisher, Acting Chair, Liquor Board Employees Division, and Leah Casselman, President.
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