Gather ye liquor while ye may, Ontario, because on Friday – the start of a long weekend in Canada — workers at the provinces 630 liquor stores may well be on strike.
While a strike doesn’t necessarily mean the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s retail outlets will be completely shuttered, it could make for long, slow-moving queues as the Victoria Day weekend gets under way.
The LCBO, the provincial-owned liquor retailing chain in Canada’s most populous province, is already recommending shoppers take some early measures to ensure their liquor cabinets don’t run dry.
“We’re advising people to plan ahead, and stock up,” LCBO spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said.
The LCBO says it has a plan in place to keep stores operating, even if its 7,000 unionized workers walk off the job when the union’s strike deadline expires just after midnight Thursday. An LCBO spokeswoman declined to provide details on what that plan would involve, saying only that service would likely be limited.
Management and the union were at the bargaining table much of last week and through the weekend, and the LCBO says it’s willing to continue talks all week until a deal is met, Ms. MacGregor said. The union is pushing for higher wages, and the provincial government – deeply in debt and trying to dig out – is looking to rein in spending.
Should Ontarians fail to stock up ahead of the possible strike, Canada Real Time offers the following suggestions for alternative sources of potent potables:
The Wine Rack: There are 160 of these wine-selling outlets across the province, often conveniently housed within grocery stores.