(WINDSOR, ON) – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has confirmed it will not have its workers walk off the job at LCBO outlets prior to the May long weekend. Although Denise Davis, chair of the union’s bargaining team, is “… hopeful that a deal will be reached through negotiations, with no need for any disruption to Ontarians’ access to alcohol,” she has confirmed if the negotiations fail, her union will not step in and call a strike until after the traditional first holiday weekend of the summer.
The union received a strong strike mandate from its members last week and has already met with LCBO bargainers and a conciliator several times. From those meetings, additional bargaining dates have been set in May and early June.
Davis says her members are not pleased with, what she calls, outrageous opening demands on the part of the spirits retailer. She remains optimistic that 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. The team has returned to the table with a strong mandate from members to fight off, what the union describes as, “… anti-worker demands.”
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, although glad the talks continue, cautioned that the 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.”