TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the workers’ strike enters its 6th week, Tropicana management puts down a final offer that includes claw-backs on paid time off, further years of wage freezes for most workers, and cutbacks to benefits and wages for new employees. The offer represents a net decrease in current compensation. When workers countered with their long-standing demand for a modest wage increase of 1% per year over the next three years, Tropicana management stormed out of bargaining.
Instead of seeking to quickly resolve the labour dispute, management’s approach seeks to needless extend picketing through the holiday season and amid a worsening pandemic. Management has demonstrated that its real goal is to break the spirit of workers and impede their right to a fair first collective agreement.
Sylvia Waldron works as an administrator for Tropicana and has been with the organization for over 30 years. She says of the offer: “After the claw-backs on benefit premiums and paid time off, this offer would have us working more hours for less pay. We’ve endured years and years of wage freeze and we’ve been on strike for 6 weeks. This offer is an insult.”
A majority of Tropicana workers would see their wages continue to be frozen, and instead, they would be given a yearly lump sum payment of around $200. But since this is accompanied by removing two existing days of paid time off, most workers would experience a net decrease in total wages. The offer would also lower the wage and benefits floor for new employees.
As the strike enters its 6th week, Tropicana continues egregiously misusing public funds on strike-breakers, anti-union consultants, and security guards instead of providing fair wages for frontline staff. Management’s latest round of behaviour confirms concerns raised by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Black union leaders, and Matthew Green MP last week about the fitness of Tropicana management to Federal funds. The Federal government should select another leading Black organization to serve this role until frontline Tropicana workers are back to work.
SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and British Columbia.