Liquor Mart employees in Manitoba voted 97 per cent in favour of possible strike action on Dec. 3.
According to the union representing workers — the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU) — the vote was in large part a reaction to the employer’s call for concessions.
“The members spoke loud and clear and gave the bargaining committee a strong strike mandate,” said MGEU president Michelle Gawronsky. “We stand in solidarity: the liquor workers want the employer to come back to the bargaining table prepared to bargain in earnest, without the concessions and with a reasonable wage offer.”
On Oct. 22, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL) made a final offer to the union. The deal included wage increases over four years if union members conceded several provisions in the collective agreement and accepted a new benefits plan. The tentative agreement was overwhelmingly rejected by the union on Nov. 17.
MGEU — representing liquor employees at the company’s distribution centre and head office — is scheduled to continue talks with MBLL on Dec. 4.
According to MGEU turnout for the strike vote was “historically” high with 868 members from all departments — including retail, head office and the distribution centre — participating.
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