Wine Rack workers will go on strike on June 7. Community members are asked to support the workers by making their wine purchases elsewhere as the picketing continues. Workers continue to call on Wine Rack owning teachers and educators through the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to act to protect their investment against the long-term reputational risk that would be incurred through a strike and subsequent negative media attention. The workers claim that Wine Rack’s intransigence is not based on financial concerns, but simply an anti-union bias, which is motivating Wine Rack to continue rejecting workers’ demands for seniority rights.
TORONTO, June 5, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Wine Rack workers unionized with SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 2 head to the picket line Monday, June 7 at 1:00 pm. Workers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the strike on May 11, and a last attempt to reach a fair agreement with management failed on June 4. As a result, workers will picket various Wine Rack locations throughout Toronto and ask community members to purchase wine from other stores to support the workers’ strike.
Wine Rack employees say their employer has chosen to put its anti-union ideology before fair dealing with workers by refusing to implement a fair scheduling system that respects seniority. Instead, Wine Racks has insisted on giving hours arbitrarily, ignoring years of service. This means that even long-term employees do not have reliable hours and the schedule varies greatly from week to week.
“Seniority rights are a fundamental right for unionized workers who are not on probation. Virtually all union employees can count on being able to access enough hours depending on the length of employment, ”says commercial agent Ted Mansell, who sits with workers at the negotiating table.
Arterra Wines has also refused to negotiate wages fairly and insists that members of the greater Toronto area accept the wages the company will set for non-union workers living outside the GTA.
Wine Rack worker Radha Bagat says: “Workers are being attacked by Wine Rack. Most of us do little more than minimal challenge. We have no other option but to attack. “
Teachers and educators are responding positively to the workers’ call for support. So far, hundreds of teachers and educators have already signed a petition to the OTPP in a campaign launched by Wine Rack workers in www.TeachersforJustice.ca.
Those interested in supporting the workers are invited to attend the pickets scheduled for Monday.
They will be happening from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Individuals interested in coming to support Wine Rack workers are asked to text Laxy Saunthararajan at (416) 319-8446 to confirm the following locations:
- 10 Dundas Street East
- 563 Sherbourne Street
- 570 Bloor Street West
SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.
Contact: Assya Moustaqim-Barrette