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Union sets strike deadline in contract talks with LCBO

LCBO spokesman says the strike deadline was “not necessary” and the agency is “committed to reaching an agreement”

TORONTO — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has set June 24 as its strike deadline in contract talks with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

OPSEU bargaining team chair Vanda Klumper said the union set the strike date because it didn’t feel the LCBO was bargaining “seriously” on the main issues.

An LCBO spokesman said the strike deadline was “not necessary” and the agency is “committed to reaching an agreement.”

“We’ve got a deal if the union wants a deal,” Chris Layton said Friday night. “We have not had a strike in the history of the LCBO.”

The union is seeking job security for full-time workers and contract improvements for full-time, part-time, seasonal and casual workers.

Layton said the LCBO is not seeking to cut full-time employment.

“Over the last four years, 476 casual and part-time workers have moved to full-time” to fill vacant positions, he said.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume June 8 to 10 and then from June 15 up to the strike deadline.

The OPSEU collective agreement with the LCBO expired on March 31, 2009.

Last week, union members voted 93 per cent to support a strike if talks fail.

“We do not want a strike,” said OPSEU president Warren Thomas. “Our members have no desire to inconvenience their customers or go without pay.”

“If we don’t have a deal by June 24, we will be out,” he said.

 
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