'Impatience and frustration': Sudbury LCBO workers to hold picket
LCBO continues to negotiate towards a 'fair settlement' for employees, according to spokesperson
Just as the Victoria Day long weekend begins, workers with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario plan to hold a picket on Friday afternoon in Sudbury, Ont.
This comes nearly one month after they voted 93 per cent in favour of a strike over contract demands.
"The climate right now is a little bit of impatience and frustration with the employer," said Jamie Kensley, president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 681 representing LCBO workers in Sudbury.
"There's always that stigma that the LCBO workers are paid very well for what they do. Why should we continue to do that? But once people listen to what we do and how we do it, and understand that the profits help pay for infrastructure and all these other things like health care, home care, education, I think a lot of customers realize ... what we're fighting for."
'Threatening to replace LCBO jobs with Walmart jobs'
Some of the main sticking points in the labour dispute include improving hours for casual employees and safety measures, especially for employees working alone, according to Kensley.
He added workers are also worried about losing jobs to grocery and convenience stores.
"The Liberal government and the LCBO are pushing a privatization agenda," Kensley said.
"[They are] threatening to replace LCBO jobs with Walmart jobs."
The LCBO denies that it is stalling the negotiation process.
"LCBO has been at the bargaining table since the beginning of April," wrote the company's media relations coordinator Christine Bujold in an email to CBC News.
"We continue to negotiate towards a fair settlement for our employees, which takes into account the evolving retail landscape in which the LCBO operates."
The demonstration in Sudbury is expected to take place between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the LCBO store on Marcus Drive.