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LCBO employees strike in Collingwood

LCBO workers protesting in Collingwood, Ont. on Sun., July 7, 2024 (CTV News/David Sullivan) LCBO workers protesting in Collingwood, Ont. on Sun., July 7, 2024 (CTV News/David Sullivan)
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More than a dozen LCBO employees gathered in front of the closed Collingwood store on First Street as the strike reached its third day.

Among them was Chris O'Neill, a full-time employee at a Wasaga Beach store.

"A major concern is keeping the money and funds we generate for the public and out of the hands of billionaires and to keep our jobs," O'Neill said.

The first-ever LCBO strike began on Friday after it failed to reach an agreement with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

According to the OPSEU, 70-percent of LCBO employees are 'casual' and, therefore, earn lower wages and do not have workplace benefits.

 "They don't have much in the way of health care," O'Neill added. "It took me 12 years to get full-time [status], and I was a 'casual.' So it's not an easy job to step into until you get settled."

According to the LCBO website, some of their online services will remain available, but all stores will remain closed for 14 days unless an agreement is reached.

"With the way the economy is right now, these people need their security," said Pamela Fraser, an LCBO customer in Collingwood. "But someone should make me a margarita at my house!"

As of July 19, a limited number of LCBO stores will operate three days per week (Friday to Sunday) with limited hours.

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