LifeLabs couriers and mailroom staff in the GTA vote to end strike

About 150 couriers and mailroom staff working for a Canadian company that provides laboratory testing in the Greater Toronto Area voted on Saturday to end strike action and return to work on Monday.

The workers at LifeLabs, represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), went on strike on March 14 after negotiations with the company failed to reach a settlement.

Mahmood Alawneh, president of OPSEU Local 5119, said the union and the company have reached a three-year-agreement that covers the period Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2023.

Under the agreement, workers will receive a 1.75 per cent increase in wages in 2021, a 2.5 per cent increase in 2022 and a two per cent increase in 2023.

Additionally, employees hired before Dec. 31, 2021 will receive a signing bonus of $2,500.

Other highlights of the agreement include:

  • Job security provisions.
  • Break times.
  • Extra shift distribution process.
  • Wellness days.
  • Two paid inclement weather days.
  • Four hours minimum pay to attend a weekend staff meeting.
  • $4 premium for employees required to park vehicles off site.
  • Full-time employees being able to cash out one weeks’ vacation if they have a minimum of four weeks’ entitlement.
  • Increase in uniform allowance.
  • New shoe allowance of $100 per year.

According to Alawneh, a new fleet allowance of $1 per hour will be added to employee rates if the employer receives a rebate on insurance premiums for their fleet vehicles in a year.

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