Union ramps up pressure in LCBO strike with no talks planned to get deal

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Published July 9, 2024 at 4:49 pm

LCBO strike union pressure
Workers and supporters hold a picket line outside the LCBO distribution centre in Mississauga, Ont. as OPSEU union members continue their strike on Tuesday, July 9 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

The union representing Ontario liquor store workers has ramped up pressure in a five-day-old strike, with no talks planned to hammer out a deal.

Thousands of workers at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario walked off the job Friday.

Ontario’s main liquor retailer has closed its stores for two weeks, but had intended to open five distribution centres this week to help get booze into restaurants, bars and other licensees across the province.

The LCBO now says that will not happen due to picketing at the locations and it will instead offer online ordering for smaller orders.

While LCBO locations are closed, there are other options for buying beer and liquor in Ontario. Insauga.com has maps to help you find where to buy during the shutdown in Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton and other GTA municipalities.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union believes Premier Doug Ford’s plan to open up the alcohol sales market poses an existential threat to the LCBO that will lead to major job losses if convenience stores and all grocery stores are allowed to sell beer, wine and ready-to-drink cocktails.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has said the government is “more committed than ever” to its alcohol expansion plans, and the LCBO has said its last contract offer included wage increases and converting several hundred part-time jobs to full-time positions.

The strike is the first in the LCBO’s history and follows months of unsuccessful contract negotiations between their union and management.

– With files from Insauga.com

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