NDP MPP for Niagara Falls Wayne Gates today asked the Premier to ensure that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) honours its pension obligations to its workers, who have been locked out since September 19th.
“What these workers want is simple. They want to know that the pensions they have been paying in to for so long will be protected. The pensions that provide, in the Premier’s words, ‘a secure and predictable income in retirement,’” said Gates.
About 1000 OLG workers in Sudbury, Toronto and Brantford were locked out over a week ago. The Crown agency is demanding concessions on worker pensions, a demand that Gates found ironic given the Premier’s professed support for expanded pensions.
OLG is seeking the concessions as it pursues privatization plans known euphemistically as “OLG Modernization.” Last year, the Auditor-General found that the privatization scheme had been carelessly conceived, with insufficient regard for its impact on jobs and workers in the province. The OLG’s latest demands could have serious long-term effects on these workers’ families as they move into retirement.
“This lockout is having a devastating impact on these 1,000 workers and their families and their communities,” said Gates. “When is this Premier going to step up and ensure that the OLG honours its pension obligations and doesn’t try to sell its workers down the river with reckless privatization schemes?” Gates asked.
Last week, Gates joined workers and Unifor representatives at Woodbine at an afternoon protest against this demand by the OLG.