Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Whither the workers in Liberal booze privatization

A key part of the Exel Logistics strategy to privatize B.C.'s liquor distribution and warehousing involves labour peace.

Getting an agreement with the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union is a vital ingredient to the company's estimated $55 million to $95 million annual revenue haul. (That equates to $550 million to $950 million over Exel's hoped-for 10-year deal.)

Excerpted from my May 8, 2012 Business in Vancouver story:

"There are three key steps selling this project," said the Oct. 6, 2009 Last Spike internal memo, prepared by Toronto-based Exel vice-president Scott Lyons. "First, the (BC Government and Service Employees' Union [BCGEU]) must be onboard. Second, the government needs to be onside. Third, the industry cannot object in a meaningful way, and ideally supports the initiative."

"When the B.C. government awards the LDB work to Exel, the BCGEU workers and the new collective agreement will follow the work," the memo said. "Going forward the extent of the relationship between Exel and the BCGEU will be that of employer and union representing the workers."

The liquor privatization was announced on Budget Day, Feb. 21, 2012. Lo and behold, a month later on March 21, 2012, the BCGEU had a deal with the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch for post-privatization job security and orderly separation, for those who qualify.

The BCGEU announced this deal on March 23, 2012. Just before the privatization RFP was released, the union announced a "Fight Back" campaign to stop the privatization.

The Memorandum of Agreement is below. More to come.

BCGEU LDB Memorandum of Agreement

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