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LCBO threatens legal action against OPSEU for standing up for its members


Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the LCBO is going down a road it will quickly regret, by mindlessly and impetuously threatening legal action against his union.

After a series of public releases in which OPSEU called out the Crown Corporation’s senior management for numerous pandemic-related issues, including not being proactive regarding health and safety protocols and refusing to provide hazard pay for workers, the LCBO has served a demand letter upon the union.

Thomas said CEO Dr. George Soleas should stop wasting public money on vanity legal challenges, and start thinking about and thanking his front line workers.

“Dr. Soleas is an embarrassment to the CEO high-flyer club,” said Thomas. “I’m so sorry you don’t like the fact that we’re doing our job standing up for the health and safety of our members and LCBO customers; we’ll see you in court – Doctor.  We look forward to Discoveries and the examination of all internal documents and emails related to labour relations throughout the pandemic. It’s a perfect opportunity to right the ship of the crown jewel of Crown Corporations.”

Thomas added that Soleas should be on the hook for his own legal counsel. 

“I hope Soleas will pay for his own lawyer instead of using LCBO funds for this,” said Thomas.  “It’s outrageous that the bosses at the LCBO would so quickly throw money at high-priced Toronto lawyers, yet they moved with the speed of molasses to bring in vital safety measures at the beginning of this pandemic, and have refused to put any funds toward a pandemic premium for essential frontline workers,” said Thomas.

Thomas noted that, while the LCBO has finally implemented safety measures requested by the union, it took weeks of pressure to get the Crown Corporation’s leadership to act on them. Following this, the LCBO’s senior management communicated a “yahoo plan” to prematurely expand business hours in anticipation of the upcoming holiday weekend.

“The LCBO is a highly-profitable Crown corporation, which is well-positioned to recognize and properly care for its workers for their selfless efforts during this pandemic. C’mon George, do the right thing – at least this one time,” said Thomas.

For more information: OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931