LCBO Store ( File Photo)LCBO Store ( File Photo)

LCBO hours being extended ahead of possible strike

The LCBO is extending its store hours ahead of a possible strike by its workers.

The liquor store said in a statement issued Monday that as of this Thursday stores will open early at 9:30 a.m. and stay open as late as 10 p.m. at many locations. The extended hours will remain in place until July 4.

"We encourage customers to shop early and stock up on preferred products. Our shelves are well-stocked, and we are doing everything we can to maintain inventory levels," the LCBO said. "Customers may wish to stock up on spirits and Vintages products in particular at this time."

Delivery to stores will be available up until June 26 and same-day pick up will be available until July 2. Alcohol products can be purchased through on-demand delivery provided from the LCBO until July 4.

Word of the extended hours comes just 11 days before the LCBO's nearly 10,000 employees will be in a legal strike position. They had voted 97 per cent in favour of job action which led the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union representing LCBO workers, to request a no-board report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. That led to a strike deadline being set for 12:01 a.m. July 5. At the time, the union stressed the strike date was selected as to not interfere with the Canada Day long weekend.

There is still time to avoid a strike as the union and Crown Corporation have bargaining dates scheduled for next week.

"While LCBO’s focus remains on achieving a deal that is fair to bargaining unit employees and helps the LCBO continue to operate effectively and efficiently for Ontario in a new marketplace, we are confident in our plan that will allow LCBO to continue serving our customers at this time," the LCBO said.

All LCBO stores will be closed on Canada Day as it is a statutory holiday.

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