LCBO Workers Share Stories of Difficult Working Conditions on New Website

LCBO workers are gearing up for a potential strike (and right before Canada Day, no less) and attempting to strengthen their case through the creation of the LiqiLeaks website.

On the website, LCBO workers share stories of some of the hardships they claim to have endured while working for the provincially-run alcohol chain.

According to a video posted to the site, workers are calling out employee exploitation and the overuse of part-time workers. According to one worker, multiple part-time employees are doing the work of full-time employees. Another says some employees end up working 60 days continuously, and one woman says some workers are only called in to cover two-hour lunch shifts.

One employee asked, "why is that 85 per cent of all workers are only part-time?"

Some employees say the demands of the job have kept them from their children and families, while others say they're worried they won't work enough hours to pay their rent and feed their kids.

The video shares grievances that the OPSEU has been discussing for a while—workers are concerned about a lack of full-time positions, guaranteed hours, job security and benefits. Over the past few weeks, the OPSEU has also cited the roll out of wine, beer and cider in grocery stores—referred to as "creeping privatization"—as a serious bone of contention with the province.

While the province and LCBO are hoping to reach a collective agreement with the OPSEU and Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED), a strike—the union will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 26—is definitely possible.

For that reason, the brand is encouraging customers to shop as soon as possible.

"The strike deadline falls at one of the busiest times of the year when customers are planning activities with family and friends over the Canada Day long weekend," the LCBO wrote in a statement. "We expect an increase in customer traffic at LCBO stores this week. To ensure access to the best product selection and to avoid longer than normal checkout lines, we encourage customers to shop as far in advance of Sunday, June 25 as possible."

According to the LCBO, some stores will operate on extended hours leading up to the strike deadline.

The Store Locator page of the brand's website will be updated to reflect any changes and, should a strike occur, the LCBO says it's "planning to provide some level of service across the province."

We'll keep you posted on any updates.

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