The London District Labour Council Commits to Picketing non-union Wine Rack stores when strike begins on Monday

The London and District Labour Council, a coalition of unions led by Patti Dalton, a member of OSSTF, passed a resolution last night pledging to support workers at the teacher-owned wine rack stores. Workers are increasingly concerned by Wine Rack actively pursuing a scab operation.

TORONTO, June 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The London and District Labour Council (LDLC) joins a growing chorus of teachers and educators in condemning the anti-worker actions of the teacher-owned Wine Rack stores. Wine Rack workers are members of SEIU Local 2. With a looming strike date of June 7th, the LDLC’s resolution to materially support the workers reads:

“We stand ready to answer the call to action including, but not limited to, setting up information pickets at non-union Wine Rack locations across southern Ontario.”

Arterra Wines is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). The OTPP are signatories of the Principles for Responsible Investment initiative and are being called on to intervene in the deteriorating situation in which the company is actively recruiting young, low-wage employees to cross picket lines. Additionally, the OTPP should intervene because a labour stoppage, negative media attention, solidarity pickets, and a potential boycott could be damaging to the teachers’ asset.

The workers assert that Arterra Wines has refused to fairly negotiate wages and are insisting members in the Greater Toronto Area accept wages the company will set for non-union workers across the province, outside the GTA. They are also refusing to implement a fair scheduling system that respects seniority and are instead insisting to continue with the current system wherein schedules are written up arbitrarily by store managers. They are proposing changes to their Manager-in-Training program, which the workers say is a thinly veiled scheme to further erode bargaining unit hours, if not eviscerate the Union altogether. In addition to these issues, they have interfered with the Union’s ability to communicate with members by refusing access to the union bulletin boards at the workplace.

William Bayliss, worker at Wine Rack, says: “My mom is a teacher, and she deserves a stable retirement. But she knows that I deserve stability and a living wage. I know that this has been a difficult year for teachers. We have also been working throughout the pandemic – I know what it feels like to not feel safe. We need to stand together and support one another.”

Hundreds of teachers and educators have already signed a petition to the OTPP in a campaign launched by Wine Rack workers at

SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

Contact: Assya Moustaqim-Barrette

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at