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Ontario public service union sets dates for strike vote

Staff Writer |
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has asked the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliator in its contract negotiations with the LCBO.

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The union hopes the help of a neutral third party will move talks forward, said Denise Davis, chair of the bargaining team for OPSEU's Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED).

"The LCBO is demanding concessions at the bargaining table that are alarming. If accepted, these proposals will weaken the LCBO and that our members cannot and will not accept," she said. "Our proposals are aimed at building a stronger LCBO.

"The point of moving to conciliation is to make this employer realize that it's time to start moving in the direction of an agreement."

Conciliation is an important step in bargaining: if it fails, either side can start the clock ticking towards a legal strike or lockout deadline.

The union has announced a province-wide strike vote for April 24 and 25.

Job security, scheduling, and health and safety are among several major concerns for the 7,500 LCBO staff represented by OPSEU.

"The context of this round of bargaining is being set at Queen's Park with Premier Kathleen Wynne's ill-advised plan to sell LCBO products in grocery stores," said OPSEU President Warren Thomas.

"This is creeping privatization, and if it's allowed to move ahead unchecked it will mean the end of the LCBO as we know it before too many years have gone by.

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