OAKVILLE, Oct. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Management at the Ontario March of Dimes
in Oakville today locked out more than 30 members of OPSEU Local 262
who provide care for those with physical disabilities so that they may
"This is clearly a case of putting their own financial priorities ahead
of the vulnerable people we care for," said Local 262 bargaining member
Carolyn LaFee. "The Ontario March of Dimes is more focused on building
on its asset base than it is on negotiating a fair and just contract
for its workers, most of whom are women working part-time."
Despite the fact that the provincial March of Dimes reported a $900,000
surplus since 2010, the agency's CEO Andrea Spindel locked out the
workers at 7:00 a.m. today and replaced them with outside, temporary
workers. Management had demanded the workers take wage concessions over
three years, reductions to their benefit and vacation allowances, and
elimination of the one day per year compassionate leave.
Spindel's annual salary alone stands at $270,000 - an amount exceeding
that which is earned by the premier of Ontario. As CEO she presides
over an asset base of close to $30 million. Although classified as a
'not-for-profit' long-term care charity, the Ontario March of Dimes
earns private income from subsidiaries it owns directly or indirectly
and by its appeal to the public for charitable donations.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, who is scheduled to visit
members of Local 262 on the picket line on Tuesday afternoon, said he
is shocked by the callousness demonstrated by management and called on
management to return to the bargaining table.
"This is a so-called not-for-profit charity that has accumulated close
to a million dollars in profit the past two years but somehow it can't
find the money to give its workers a fair wage increase," said Thomas.
"I urge anyone who is thinking about donating to the March of Dimes
this holiday season to think again. It is an organization that puts its
own interests before the needs of its clients and employees."
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