After the ballots were counted on Sunday, MGEU announced that liquor workers (Locals 56-61) voted to accept the tentative agreement.
The strike began on July 19th with a full walkout on August 8th.
“We said from the beginning that our members’ priority was achieving fair wage increases that help all members keep up with the rising cost of living,” said MGEU President Kyle Ross. “By providing our members with wage increases of 12% or more over four years, this agreement delivers on that priority.”
Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries President & CEO Gerry Sul offered some details of the ratified agreement.
“It features compounding general wage increases of 2% for each of the 4 years, plus pay scale adjustments reflecting the specific and overwhelmingly part-time nature of our workforce, other targeted shift premiums and allowances, benefit enhancements, and one-time lump sum payments.”
Sul indicated that all Liquor Marts will be open on Monday.
“Two stores, Eastwinds and Brandon 10th & Victoria will continue to be exclusive to commercial customers until later this week. Deliveries to commercial partners including private retailers, such as liquor vendors, and licensees, such as bars and restaurants, will begin next week.”
The MGEU represents approximately 1,400 workers at MBLL.
“We knew a deal was to be had at the bargaining table, and our members proved just that,” said Ross. “We’d like to thank everyone for their patience, support, and solidarity during this extremely difficult round of bargaining. It is unfortunate that we were forced to take strike action to get the government to listen to us, but our collective efforts have resulted in an agreement that will help us catch up and keep up.”
MPI employees set for full walkout
As one strike ends, another is set to begin. MGEU announced that strike action will get underway for workers at MPI.
MPI issued a statement on Sunday indicating that “After rejecting an enhanced four-year collective agreement offer worth 17 per cent in total monetary value, coupled with an offer to avert strike action by proceeding directly to voluntary arbitration to settle the issue of general wage increases beyond two per cent per year, the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU) is taking 1,700 Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) unionized employees to the picket line on Monday, August 28.”
However, MGEU President Kyle Ross says this is not an accurate reflection of the offer made to their union members at MPI.
“We are disappointed that the government and the Corporation have once again – just this morning – made aggressive, misleading, and disingenuous statements about the current offer before our members,” Ross said in a statement. “Their claim that they have offered “up to 17%” grossly inflates their actual offer by including non-wage items, one-time payments, and other increases that flow only to some members.”
The reality of the offer is that it would provide about half of all MPI members with wage increases of just 2 per cent per year.
Ross said that if a four-year 17 per cent wage increase was actually on the table for all members, the bargaining committee would have already taken that out for a vote by the membership.
The workers' contract with MPI ran out as of September 26, 2022.
Since a deal was not reached this weekend, a full walkout strike of all 1,700 MGEU MPI workers will begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday, August 28, and continue until further notice.
Manitobans are encouraged to visit MPI’s website regularly for more information and the latest updates on service alternatives during the MGEU strike action.
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