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HomeCANADALCBO Workers Hold Rally in Downtown Toronto on Day 2 of Strike

LCBO Workers Hold Rally in Downtown Toronto on Day 2 of Strike

July 6: The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) workers held a significant rally in downtown Toronto to mark the second day of their strike, which began following months of unsuccessful contract negotiations. The strike action comes after a decisive vote by the workers, with 97% favoring the strike, indicating strong support for their demands for better wages and more full-time positions.

The core issues leading to the strike include dissatisfaction with wage offers and concerns over job security. The workers are particularly frustrated with the wage restraint legislation, Bill 124, which had limited public sector salary increases to 1% annually over three years. Although this legislation was struck down in November 2022, the province’s appeal against the ruling has prolonged the uncertainty for workers. During reopened talks, the LCBO offered a 0.75% lump sum increase for each of the past three years, which the union rejected as insufficient and disrespectful to workers who were deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rally saw thousands of LCBO workers and supporters gathering to voice their demands. Union leaders emphasized that their members played a crucial role in keeping stores operational during the pandemic and deserve fair compensation and job security. There are also fears that the Ford government’s moves towards privatizing alcohol sales in Ontario could lead to further job losses and reduced job quality for LCBO employees.

As the strike continues, LCBO has implemented contingency plans, including closing stores for two weeks and limiting in-store shopping to weekends at select locations. Online retail services will continue to operate, though with caps on product availability to manage supply.

This strike not only highlights the ongoing labor disputes but also raises questions about the future of public- sector employment and the privatization of services in Ontario.

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