Saskatoon

Union worried about future of SLGA stores after Saskatoon mall refuses to renew lease

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority store at the Lawson Heights Mall will soon be looking for a new home.

Lease at Lawson Heights Mall expires in spring 2020, union concerned about fate of other locations

The SLGA store at Saskatoon's Lawson Heights Mall has been told its lease will not be renewed after it expires next year. (Eric Thomas /AFP/Getty Images)

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority store at the Lawson Heights Mall will soon be looking for a new home.

Recently, the Saskatoon mall announced it would not be renewing the SLGA's lease, which expires March 31, 2020.

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) said the lease had been pulled at the request of Sobeys, which plans to open a privately-owned liquor store at Lawson Heights.

"They made arrangements to have a proximity clause," said SGEU Local 6080 president Bob Stadnichuk. "The proximity clause meant that they could be the exclusive liquor store in that area"

The announcement comes at a precarious time for the 618 employees who still work at SLGA stores across the province.

In 2015, the province announced its plans to privatize 40 government-owned liquor stores across the province. Afterward, a collective agreement with workers guaranteed there would be no more plant closures during the life of the agreement.

That deal expires next year and the union believes there may be more store closures after that.

"My confidence in this government is is fairly low when it comes to public enterprises or any kind of public services," Stadnichuk said.

For now, SLGA said in a statement it was "assessing its options" for what to do once the Lawson Heights lease expires next year. Stadnichuk said SLGA was looking for a new rental location for the store.

Eighteen people work at the location.

Calls to mall owner Morguard were not immediately returned.

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