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LCBO workers set date in early July for potential strike

To avoid a strike by workers, the LCBO has asked for third-party mediator to join the parties at bargaining as soon as possible.
Tom Venetis head shot
LCBO Flagship Store Toronto Queensway

Workers at the LCBO have set a date to strike in early July if they cannot come to an agreement with their employer.

Last week, LCBO workers voted 97% in favour of a strike, with 86% of workers turning out to vote. Their collective agreement expired on March 31.

"LCBO workers don't want a dry summer, we love how busy it is and being a part of Ontarians' celebrations," said Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO) Liquor Board Employees Division Bargaining Team Chair Colleen MacLeod. "But we can't stand by while Doug Ford gives away the LCBO's revenues to big box and convenience chain CEOs. It's on Premier Ford and the LCBO to make sure that public services and good jobs don't get left behind."

LCBO workers will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01 am on Friday, July 5, 2024. Core demands of the OPSEU/SEFPO bargaining team include expanding public retail locations and opening hours, expanding LCBO warehousing, logistics and e-commerce capacity in-house, and better jobs at the LCBO, including moving from a 70% casual workforce to more permanent part-time and full-time positions to improve customer experience and sustainability.

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"We envision a future where the LCBO grows with Ontario," adds OPSEU/SEFPO president JP Hornick. "We could improve convenience by expanding public LCBO retail locations and hours. That would not only grow the LCBO's revenues that pay for our health care and education, but also create good jobs in communities across our province."

The LCBO has said it wants to avoid a strike, adding it will ensure continued customer service during a work stoppage. 

“We have several bargaining dates this week where we will resume negotiations with a focus on achieving a renewal collective agreement with OPSEU that is fair for our unionized employees and helps the LCBO operate efficiently and effectively for Ontarians in a changing marketplace, says in a statement released to the press. “To assist the parties, the LCBO has requested that OPSEU agree to the appointment of a mutually agreed upon third-party mediator to join the parties at bargaining as soon as possible. LCBO’s formal request to OPSEU can be found here: LCBO letter to OPSEU – June 17, 2024

With files from The Canadian Press and Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO) 

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