Toronto - On May 16,2016, the Ontario Labour Relations Board certified the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), to represent 92 workers at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Lesmill Lab, an I.T. facility in Toronto.
Following the successful unionization of their colleagues at the OLG Sault Ste Marie headquarters, OLG Lesmill workers reached out to PSAC about a campaign of their own. Like other non-unionized OLG workers across the province, those at Lesmill had their wages frozen for years. The desire for better working conditions and concerns about an impending privatization process motivated these workers to unionize to protect and improve their working conditions.
“We are seeing the negative impacts of the Liberal’s plans to privatize the gaming industry on the OLG’s workforce across the province”, states Sharon DeSousa, PSAC Ontario Regional Executive Vice-President. “Thousands of workers across Ontario are in a state of upheaval with the OLG’s plans to privatize its gaming sites and also its $2 billion lottery industry by 2017.”
PSAC has consistently opposed the privatization of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Similarly, a 2014 poll found 70% of Ontario voters also oppose the province's privatization of the OLG and its impacts to jobs and much needed government revenue.
With the support of PSAC’s expertise, Lesmill workers can now negotiate with the OLG during this difficult transition process. These workers can now look forward to the backing of their union and its members as they negotiate their first collective agreement.
During the negotiating process, the workers’ wages and working conditions will be secure until a collective agreement is reached. Despite the privatization process, Lesmill workers will continue to have the protection of their union.
Background on Privatization
- The Ontario Liberals announced plans to privatize Ontario Lottery and Gaming in 2012.
- In September of 2015, the first “bundle” of Ontario casinos in the province’s East were sold to The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.
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