Last week the LCBO division of OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union) triggered the countdown to a possible strike.
On Monday 26 June, LCBO employees can legally go on strike. At the same time, the LCBO also has the right to 'lock-out' unionized employees. The union represents 8100 hourly LCBO employees
In my opinion, the likelihood of an LCBO strike is the highest in my 24 years in this business. The climate in Ontario is changing, with the biggest (but not only) development being the introduction of wine and beer in grocery stores. You can find more detail on the LCBO position at www.lcbonegotiations.com and https://opseu.org/sector/liquor-board-employees
There are several meetings scheduled in the next 2 weeks for negotiation, and we hope a reasonable agreement can be reached.
What does a strike mean? We're not entirely sure, as it hasn’t happened in current times.
How long will a strike last? We have no idea whether it would be days, weeks or months.
Until we learn an agreement has been reached, we are assuming our last delivery day will be Friday 23 June (in Toronto / earlier in the week for London, K-W, Muskoka, Ottawa, Niagara, etc - check with our office for details)
The deadline for ordering is noon on Thursday 22 June for delivery on Friday 23rd (again - earlier for outside Toronto).
PLEASE DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO ORDER, LCBO AND OUR DELIVERY TRUCKS WILL BE VERY BUSY NEXT WEEK.
Will LCBO keep some stores and/or the Consignment Warehouse open using management staff to operate? We do not know what to expect.
What are your options?
What should you do? You have to make up your own mind about the probability of a strike, and the implications to your business, leisure, wedding, etc. I urge you to read the newspapers, talk to staff at your local LCBO store, and check out both OPSEU and LCBO websites. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
I can only recommend – my personal opinion – that a prudent approach is to be prepared. Licensees should probably stock up on core imported wines and key spirits. Individuals should also ensure they have what they feel they need – at least for the long weekend. Better safe than sorry, right? It’s not as if you won’t use the inventory anyway…
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