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LCBO strike negotiations go under ‘blackout’ until Monday


Negotiations between the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and the union representing its workers will remain a secret ahead of a possible strike that could begin as early as Monday.

The LCBO and Ontario Public Service Employees Union had said they planned to negotiate around the clock ahead of the union’s threat of job action at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

But details of the bargaining are under a “media blackout” that OPSEU says was imposed by a conciliator Saturday morning.

The union says it won’t be providing any information about the talks while the blackout is in effect.

Read more: LCBO extends hours in lead up to Canada Day as possible strike looms

Both sides previously said that while they’re working toward a solution, consumers, bars and restaurants would be wise to make their purchases this weekend, just in case.

The LCBO said it had extended store hours — detailed on its website — so customers could get their shopping done.

The 8,000 unionized LCBO workers, who have been without a contract since March 31, voted overwhelmingly in April in favour of giving the union a strike mandate.

Outside of a Toronto LCBO on Saturday, where lines weren’t particularly long, several people said they weren’t concerned about the threat of a strike. Others said they didn’t know job action was a possibility.

But Victoria Lee said it was the thought of a strike that brought her into the store.

“I was just walking by, doing my typical groceries, and I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, they could strike. I should go pick up something,’” she said.

Several other LCBO outlets across the province either said store traffic was only slightly busier or about the same as usual.

TORONTO STAR | NEWS | CANADA