OLG locks out employees at Woodbine Racetrack facility
A statue of the famous race horse, Northern Dancer stands outside the main entrance of Woodbine Racetrack. (Tibor Kolley)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, July 14, 2017 5:52AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 14, 2017 11:14AM EDT
About 400 workers at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation facility at Woodbine Racetrack have been locked out, just days after voting to reject a tentative agreement that had been reached with their employer.
The workers, who are members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, voted to reject the offer over the weekend.
The union says that it did send a revised offer to the OLG on Wednesday but were rebuffed.
The lockout then began at 12:01 a.m.
The OLG says that the electronic poker room at their Woodbine Racetrack facility will be closed due to the labour disruption. The OLG’s shuttle service will also not be available and the coat check at the facility will have limited hours of operation.
The slots at the facility will, however, remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“OLG respects the collective bargaining process and we treat our employees fairly and respectfully. We are open to having discussions with PSAC at any time to resolve the issues in dispute," the OLG said in a statement issued Friday morning. "OLG has made wage and lump sum proposals which are fair and reasonable, and we are willing to put our offer before an arbitrator."
Dozens of workers set up picket
About 60 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 533 set up a picket outside the main entrance to the OLG’s Woodbine Racetrack facility early Friday morning.
Theo Lagakos, the president of the local, told CP24 that his members will walk the line as “long as it takes” but are hopeful that bargaining will eventually resume with the OLG.
“We are still open to talk to the OLG but at this point they have decided to lock us out. They don’t want to speak to us,” he said.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada has previously said that the main sticking point in its discussions with the OLG revolve around working conditions for part-time workers. About 60 per cent of the union's members are part-time workers.
“When you work part time at the OLG it is not like working part time anywhere else. One week you could be working five days and the other week you could be working one day,” Lagakos told CP24. “There is no fixed schedule if you are part time either. You could be working the grave shift one day and the day shift the next. There is no work-life balance.”