Wine Rack workers will begin striking on June 7th. Community members are being asked to support workers by making their wine purchases elsewhere while pickets are ongoing. Workers are continuing to ask teachers and educators who own Wine Rack via the Ontario Teacher’s 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. Workers assert that Wine Rack’s intransigence is not based on financial concerns but simply on the grounds of anti-union bias, which is motivating Wine Rack to continue to reject workers’ demands for seniority rights.
TORONTO, June 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wine Rack workers unionized with SEIU (Services Employees International Union) Local 2 are heading to the picket line on Monday, June 7th at 1:00 pm. The workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking on May 11th, and a last attempt to come to a fair settlement with management failed on June 4th. As a result, workers will be picketing at several Wine Rack locations throughout Toronto and ask community members to buy wine at other stores to support the workers’ strike.
Wine Rack employees say that their employer has chosen to put their anti-union ideology ahead of dealing fairly with workers by refusing to implement a fair scheduling system that respects seniority. Wine Racks has instead insisted on giving out hours on an arbitrary basis, ignoring years of service. This means that even long-term employees do not have dependable hours, and the scheduling varies greatly from week to week.
“Seniority rights are a fundamental entitlement for non-probationary union employees. Virtually all union employees can count on being able to access sufficient hours based on duration of employment,” says business agent Ted Mansell, who sits with the workers at the bargaining table.
Arterra Wines has also refused to negotiate wages fairly and insists members in the Greater Toronto Area accept wages the company will set for non-union workers who live outside the GTA.
Wine Rack worker Radha Bagat says: “Workers are under attack from Wine Rack. Most of us make little more than a minimum wage. We have been left with no other choice but to strike.”
Teachers and educators are responding positively to 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 at www.TeachersforJustice.ca.
Those interested in supporting the workers are invited to come to the pickets planned to commence on 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.