Tropicana workers back on the job

Tropicana workers celebrate

After a seven-week strike, workers at Tropicana Community Services (TCS) in Toronto are back on the job.

The workers have ratified their first collective agreement and ended their strike  just two days before Christmas.

Raymund Guiste Executive Director of TCS, said that the unionized team members ratified a three-year collective agreement and that the contract includes several improvements: the establishment of a salary grid, monetary gains in the first year of the contract for all unionized staff, and the commitment to address pay equity issues.

Raymund Guiste

At the same time, the contract abides by the legal constraints of Bill 124, the Ontario legislation that governs compensation costs for non-profit, publicly funded organizations like Tropicana, Guiste  pointed out.

“Together with the Service Employees International Union Local 2, we have agreed on a contract that gives Tropicana the ability to sustainably offer culturally appropriate and supportive programs – today and in the future,” he noted.

The Scarborough-based TCS employs 50 workers.

More than a year and a half ago, the workers were unionized and began the “collective struggle” to achieve a wage increase and other workplace protections.

TCS, which was founded 40 years ago, was appointed by the Canadian government to administer the newly launched Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiatives (SBCCI) in Toronto. Other organizations have been named as administrators in Nova Scotia and Quebec.

The SBCCI is designed “to help increase the capacity of grassroots not-for-profit organizations serving Black communities in Canada