LCBO workers one step closer to strike as union requests 'no-board ...

28 days ago
LCBO strike

Posted June 17, 2024 3:02 pm.

Last Updated June 17, 2024 5:28 pm.

The union representing LCBO workers has requested a no-board report from the Ministry of Labour, which if granted, would bring them one step closer to a strike.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), which represents 10,000 LCBO workers, said the request was made on June 13 prior to union members voting overwhelmingly on a strike mandate over the weekend. However, it has not yet been granted by the ministry.

OPSEU says more than 8,000 members took part in the vote with over 97 per cent in favour of going on strike.

Should a ‘no-board’ report be granted, the union would be in a legal strike position 17 days following the approval.

Both sides remain at the bargaining table, with the LCBO calling for a third-party mediator to help with the negotiations.

“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,” the LCBO said in a statement.

“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.”

Talks on a new contract have been ongoing since March.

The union says it is concerned about job losses at the LCBO as a result of the Ford government’s move to sell alcohol in convenience stores starting this September.

Premier Doug Ford recently announced that sales of beer, wine, cider and ready-to-drink cocktails would be allowed in convenience stores and all grocery stores by 2026. Officials said at that time the LCBO would still be the only place to buy high-alcohol spirits, and it would remain a wholesaler. 

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has previously said the government has no plans to privatize the LCBO.

The LCBO also said it is working on a contingency plan in the event of a strike, one that would “ensure continued customer service.”

With files from John Marchesan, CityNews

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