Workers at the LCBO on Quinn Drive in Sarnia picket outside of the store on day one of the strike. July 5, 2024. Blackburn Media photo by Josh Boyce.Workers at the LCBO on Quinn Drive in Sarnia picket outside of the store on day one of the strike. July 5, 2024. Blackburn Media photo by Josh Boyce.
Chatham

Ford won't budge on expansion plans

The province will not budge on making ready-to-drink cocktails available at grocery stores and convenience stores.

That was Premier Doug Ford's message at a news conference about the ongoing LCBO strike.

"If they want to continue to talk about RTDs [ready-to-drink], it's done. It's absolutely done. When they want to come back and talk about what their front line workers want, the benefits, the salaries, and job security, it's right in the proposal that we gave them," said Ford.

The proposal includes a 7 per cent increase in wages over the life of the contract. The union says the proposal misses the mark.

During the press conference at Cool Beer Brewing Company in Etobicoke, Ford accused the union's leadership of not sharing the latest proposal with the front line workers. However, the proposal is linked on the union's website along with a breakdown of the union's analysis of the offer.

"We aren't that far apart. You take off the RTD which is next to nothing, take off the RTD and talk about what they want, the workers. That's the message I send to the leadership at OPSEU," said Ford.

OPSEU officials argue the increase in sales in grocery stores and convenience stores threatens job security and reduces public funds for public services.

"If we let Doug Ford continue with his plan to privatize alcohol sales to enrich his billionaire grocery and convenience chain CEO buddies, not only will our jobs be at stake, but so will our public services like health care, education and infrastructure. That’s what we’re fighting for," read the union's response to the LCBO's latest proposal.

Around 9,000 LCBO workers have been on strike since July 5. There are currently no dates scheduled for negotiations.

Read More Local Stories