LCBO workers set strike vote date for later this month after union

TORONTO — Liquor Control Board of Ontario staff represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will be holding a strike vote on April 24 and 25.The union has long railed against the government’s move to sell beer, wine and cider in grocery stores, calling it “creeping privatization.”At the bargaining table, OPSEU says the LCBO is demanding “concessions” that it will not accept, and says major concerns include job security, scheduling and health and safety.Ontario knew about strong opposition to privatizing Hydro One and LCBO for more than a year, but did it anywayWilliam Watson: The LCBO ’s absurd monopoly has it ‘marketing’ something we’d all buy more of if liquor prices weren’t monopolizedOPSEU has asked the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliator and if those discussions fail, it can start the clock toward a strike.The union represents 7,500 LCBO staff whose collective agreement expired March 31.The LCBO says it is committed to reaching a negotiated agreement and is still optimistic that will happen.There are 130 grocery stores in Ontario now selling beer and cider — with 70 of those also selling wine — and the government intends to expand that to up to 450.The Canadian Press