OPSEU Liquor Board Employees Division

No risk of LCBO strike in advance of Victoria Day weekend

Toronto – In response to public discussion of the risk of an upcoming LCBO strike, the chair of the bargaining team for the union representing LCBO workers has confirmed that the union will not be taking any job action in advance of the May long weekend.

Denise Davis, chair of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) bargaining team, said she is “hopeful that a deal will be reached through negotiations, with no need for any disruption to Ontarians’ access to alcohol.

“Since the strong strike vote last week, we’ve met with the employer and the conciliator several times, and have added additional bargaining dates in May and early June. I believe that despite the employer’s outrageous opening demands, there is still room to reach a deal that will ensure a stronger and better LCBO, if the management team is willing.”

OPSEU members at the LCBO voted 93 per cent in support of giving the bargaining team the authority to call a strike if necessary, which has returned the team to the table with a strong mandate from members to fight off the employer’s anti-worker demands.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, said he is glad to hear that the two sides are continuing to talk, as the best way to reach a fair deal is through these negotiations. He reminded LCBO management, however, not to mistake this willingness to talk for a lack of commitment to getting a good deal for members.

“These workers are fired up, and for good reason. Far too many of them are working alone, commuting several hours for two-hour shifts, trapped in so-called casual positions for decades, watching the employer make continuous use of temp agency workers, or facing the risk of having their own jobs contracted out.

“To get a deal, this employer is going to have to be willing to address these problems – otherwise, the risk of a work stoppage is real.”

The OPSEU collective agreement with the LCBO expired on March 31, 2017.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931; Denise Davis, 905-767-6867