Members ready to take job action Monday morning if necessary

Last week, MGEU members (Locals 62-68) who work at Manitoba Public Insurance voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, while rejecting their employer’s offer.

Today the MGEU served the employer with official strike notice for job action to commence Monday, August 28 at 7:30 am.

To update Manitobans about the very real possibility of MPI members walking the picket line next week, if no agreement can be reached this weekend, MGEU President Kyle Ross was joined by several MPI members at a news conference this afternoon.

“The offer that was presented to our members isn’t fair,” Ross told reporters. “Our members have been clear – they want an agreement that helps everyone keep up with the soaring cost of living… This strike can end before it even starts, and our bargaining team is willing to meet over the weekend to make that happen so our members can continue to go to work and serve Manitobans.”

If a settlement can’t be reached, there will be a province-wide walkout by all MPI members – approximately 1,700 workers. Picket lines are being organized across the province outside locations in The Pas, Thompson, Dauphin, Brandon, Portage La Prairie, Winkler, Arborg, Beausejour, Selkirk, and Steinbach. In Winnipeg, picket lines will be set up near the Bison Drive, Gateway, King Edward, St. Mary’s and Main Street Service Centres.

MPI members have been working under an expired contract since September 26, 2022. Negotiations to reach a new contract began in May 2023 and on August 17, 2023, Local 62-68 members voted overwhelmingly to reject an offer from the employer, while voting in favour of strike action. The employer came back with minor changes to their offer, including an extra step to the pay scale that would have benefitted only about half of the membership. Ross said that is not fair as the Bargaining Committee is seeking fair wage increases for ALL members.

“Everyone knows Premier Stefanson can avert this strike by lifting her 2% wage mandate, just like she did for liquor workers,” he said. “We know her government can do better – look at the increases that she finally approved for liquor workers - 12% over 4 years. Unfortunately, it took five weeks of strike action to get some fairness. And now our members at MPI are rightfully taking a stand because they believe it’s not too much to ask for a fair wage increase that helps them and their families keep up with the soaring cost of living.”

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