LCBO workers are inching towards a province-wide strike.
Represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), workers “have delivered a resounding message of support for their bargaining team’s demands with a 93% strike vote,” according to a press release issued by the union.
The vote, held April 24 and 25, was called earlier this month by the bargaining team following what they describe as LCBO management’s “complete lack of respect for workers.”
The majority strike vote is intended to “wake up this management team to the reality of the situation,” says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
The fact is, these members are fighting to save this important public asset. The people of Ontario built the LCBO, paid for the LCBO, and own the LCBO. We’re not about to let the Wynne government destroy it through this piecemeal privatization.
Negotiations will now continue with a strong mandate from OPSEU members. According to team chair Denise Davis, “In all the rounds of negotiations I’ve been involved in, I’ve never seen the members this fired up. And it’s no surprise – management’s proposals are far worse than anything tabled before.”
The issues at the bargaining table stem from Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plan to sell LCBO products in grocery stores.
With the OPSEU collective agreement expired as of March 31, 2017, Thomas says, “LCBO management has a decision to make. They can work with us and our team’s proposals to improve and safeguard the LCBO, and make it the great public asset it has the potential to be, or they can continue to push for the weaker, and meaner, LCBO the Liberals seem to want.”