LCBO says stock up ahead of potential strike before Canada Day long weekend
Kayla Goodfield, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, June 19, 2017 4:53PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 19, 2017 7:12PM EDT
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario is advising customers to stock up on products ahead of a potential strike just days before the Canada Day long weekend.
The strike possibility comes as 8,000 unionized LCBO workers remain without a contract after negotiations broke down in March. The workers will be in a legal strike position as of June 26 at 12:01 a.m.
OPSEU, the union representing the workers, launched a province-wide advertising campaign on Monday promoting a website dubbed “LiqiLeaks” -- a play on Wikileaks – to tell workers’ stories. The website highlights the reality of the working conditions for these employees, OPSEU said.
“With a strike deadline at the LCBO only 10 days away, the union representing workers at the LCBO has launched a new website and an extensive advertising campaign to expose the reality of their working conditions,” a news release said.
The website also showcases interviews with employees in a section called “Real People. Real Stories.”
“Working conditions at the LCBO are shocking,” the website says. “They’re (the employees) not asking for the world. Just the opportunity to work enough hours to get by, reliable shift schedules that let them meet their family commitment, a chance to work their way up to a full-time position, and the security of knowing that their jobs won’t be handed to temp agencies or contracted out to multi-nationals.”
OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas said the company has brought this on themselves.
“The way that senior management has acted, and the pressure from the provincial government to drive up profits, no matter the cost to workers, has brought us to the brink of a strike,” Thomas said. “No worker should be treated the way these folks are being treated right now – especially not at a profitable Crown corporation that can afford to do better.”
Thomas said drawing people to this website will help raise awareness about the working conditions for employees of the LCBO.
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he said. “We hope that growing public pressure on the government and LCBO management will help them do the right thing and come to the table with a fair deal for these workers.”
LCBO plans for potential strike
On Monday, the LCBO released a statement on their website saying they want to reach a fair, sustainable and responsible collective agreement with the OPSEU.
In the statement, the LCBO said their main concern is the question from customers about how they should prepare for a potential strike.
“The strike deadline falls at one of the busiest times of the year when customers are planning activities with family and friends over the Canada Day long weekend,” the statement read. “We expect an increase in customer traffic at LCBO stores this week.”
“To ensure access to the best product selection and to avoid longer than normal checkout lines, we encourage customers to shop as far in advance of Sunday, June 25 as possible.”
Ahead of the deadline the LCBO has planned to extend hours at some locations across the province.