Locked out workers at the Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots (RCRS) in Ottawa will be travelling to Toronto to hold a press conference and rally at Queen’s Park on March 9 to defend their workplace pensions and fight back against the privatization of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
The 124 workers, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), were locked out on December 15 after they rejected OLG’s final offer, which sought to freeze wages for two more years (despite the workers’ not having received a raise since 2009), and removing existing pension language from their current collective agreement.
Press conference Rally
When: 9:15 a.m., March 9 12 p.m. (noon), March 9
Where: Queen’s Park media studio Queen’s Park south lawn
Who: Cindy Forster, NDP Labour Critic Locked out OLG workers
Larry Rousseau, PSAC Sharon DeSousa, PSAC
Locked out OLG workers Chris Buckley, OFL President
Jerry Dias, UNIFOR President
Doug Marshall, Union of National Employees President
“Kathleen Wynne says she supports pensions for Ontarians, but she is allowing OLG, a crown corporation, to try and take its employees’ pensions away,” said Larry Rousseau, Regional Executive Vice-President for PSAC National Capital Region. “This is the height of hypocrisy.”
“We’re seeing the results of yet another attempt by the Liberal government to privatize a profitable crown company,” added Sharon DeSousa, Regional Executive Vice-President for PSAC Ontario. “OLG is forcing its workers to give up their pension protections so that its casinos and slots become more attractive to private sector buyers under the so-called Modernization Plan’.”
The three month lockout just before the holiday season in the harsh Ottawa winter has been hard on the lives of these workers, but they remain resolute in their struggle to defend their retirement security.
“This lockout has been a challenge for my family. It has caused instability in my daughter's life and financial hardships, and has shattered my self-esteem,” said Dawn Kirkbride, one of the locked out workers. “My once steady future is in question and I worry about my child and her generation as they grow up and enter the workforce: will there be anything for them?”
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