Toronto – With the Ministry of Labour issuing a “no board” report earlier today, the clock is ticking towards a strike deadline for workers at the LCBO of 12:01 a.m. on June 26.
The 8,000 unionized workers at the LCBO who are represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) have been without a contract since March 31.
The OPSEU bargaining team chair, Denise Davis, says that what happens next “is up to the employer.”
“There are real problems with the LCBO right now,” said Davis. “But there’s also real potential to make it the global leader it has the potential to be, not just in sales, but in the standard it sets for other employers by how it treats the workers who drive those sales.
“We’ve come forward at the bargaining table with a plan for a better LCBO – one that doesn’t leave workers trapped in part-time positions for decades, protects jobs in communities across Ontario, and strengthens this public asset that provides essential revenue for the province. LCBO management knows they can afford to treat their workers better – after all, we’re talking about a company with $2 billion in profits last year.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, who will meet with LCBO workers’ elected leadership in Toronto today to finalize plans should the deadline pass without a deal, said that “at the end of the day, the buck stops with the Premier.”
“Talk is cheap. But if Kathleen Wynne wants to take concrete action to match her lofty promises of improved working conditions for vulnerable workers, she has the power to do that – right here, and right now,” said Thomas. “We all know that if the Premier picked up the phone, called LCBO CEO George Soleas, and told him to stop exploiting workers, and instead provide these folks with the decent working conditions she claims she wants for everyone, there would be a deal that day.
“I guess we’ll find out what her promises are worth on June 26. Whether she tells her managers to join with us to build a better LCBO, for workers and Ontarians, or lets the clock run down and the picket lines go up, is now up to her.”
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931; Denise Davis, 905-767-6867