Tropicana workers have ratified their first collective agreement and ended their 7-week strike a mere two days before Christmas. This marks over a year and a half since workers unionized and began the collective struggle to achieve a modest wage increase and other workplace protections.
While the workers are relieved to be finally stepping away with a collective agreement, they view this win as the first step in a more protracted effort to ensure that Tropicana’s management conducts itself in accordance with the organization’s stated values. The strike revealed the management’s incompetence and deep anti-worker orientation, including and egregious misuse of untold thousands of public funds on security guards and strike-breakers.
The workers’ strike also revealed the unaccountable nature of Tropicana management. Workers will be planning and execute a strategy to enhance community insight and ownership over Tropicana Community Services.
Tropicana workers along with all of the SEIU Local 2 would like to extend a warm thank you to the many elected representatives, community leaders, parents, labour unions, and community members who came out in support of workers during their strike. Workers were strengthened by their attendance at rallies, donations and other expressions of solidarity.
The union said that with the immense support of several community leaders, elected officials, parents, labour leaders, and many others, the workers are finally walking away with their first collective agreement. The modest wins serve as a starting point for a further struggle by workers to address issues of endemic misconduct at the highest levels of Tropicana management.
Raymund Guiste Executive Director said that Tropicana was very pleased to announce that their unionized team members have ratified a three-year collective agreement.
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.
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.
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.
We want to thank the many funders, clients, partners and community at large for their unwavering support during this negotiating process. Special thanks to the employees who helped maintain all our programs and services during the labour stoppage.