13 Employees of a Winnipeg Legion Hall were blocked from going to work last Monday, December 18, 2006. According to the management of the Legion Hall, this action had to be taken because they are currently trying to survive amidst falling revenues and a dwindling number of hall members. 3 full-time employees and 10 part-time unionized bar employees at the Fort Rouge and Imperial Veterans Legion located on Osborne Street were part of the lock-out.
As Union Spokeswoman, Judy Moreau stated, the timing of the lock-out, a week before the holidays is terrible, especially for their families. But the Acting Manager for the Legion Hall, Doug Fisher said that the hall simply could not afford any kind of contract that the unionized workers wanted to have. Fisher added that the management asked the workers, who are part of the Canadian Auto Workers Union, to give their consent to the wage and benefit concession just to keep the Legion up and running.
According to Fisher, the majority of the money comes from their volunteers, bingo operations and additional means. The Legion Hall has been experiencing a slide in their profits for about a decade now. Nonetheless, the unionized employees said that they firmly believe that the Legion Hall has enough money to accommodate the pay of their workers. Moreau asserted that the bingo hall has paper bingo three-times a week and that slowly accumulates enough funds. The Legion Hall also has 8 VLT's that create sources of cash. A mediator has been in contact with both sides. For the meantime, Fisher said that Legion Hall management will still try to open the Legion with the help of their other part-time staff and volunteers who have experience in provincial bar training.
Monday, January 15, 2007