All Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) employees working out of six locations of the Essex-Lambton-Kent district office voted in favour of joining the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) on Nov. 21.
"It didn't take long to get enough cards signed to call a vote. So we were pleased, but not surprised, by the very favourable result. These workers knew they needed representation – and they knew that OPSEU would do the best job," said Kareen Marshall, chair of OPSEU's community agencies division.
Workers at the district offices cited a number of reasons for wanting to unionize, including a desire for greater fairness, increased transparency, the security of having terms and conditions of employment that cannot be changed unilaterally and having a voice to raise and address issues collectively, rather than individually, said the union.
The LAO offices are located in Windsor, Sarnia, and Chatham in Ontario. The new members work as legal aid workers and district triage officers. They join some 250 LAO workers already represented by OPSEU.
LAO is an independent, publicly funded, non-profit corporation that provides low-income individuals with legal aid services. LAO helps almost 4,000 people from 76 clinics every day.
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