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Employees, supporters rally outside LCBO headquarters

LCBO employees and supporters are rallying outside the liquor control board’s head office in downtown Toronto to protest the pace of labour talks.

Greg Hamara, an Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) spokesman, told CityNews.ca that the union is holding its annual meeting on Thursday and that LCBO members and supporters would walk from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s headquarters at 55 Lake Shore Blvd. E. at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“We’re not happy with the pace of negotiations,” Hamara said, adding that the LCBO doesn’t appear to be addressing the union’s concerns.

He said the rally is “a wake-up call” to management to get down to negotiating.

The union represents more than 7,000 employees whose contract expired March 31.The rally will feature several speeches including one by OPSEU president Warren “Smokey” Thomas.

Earlier this week, employees voted 95 per cent in favour of striking should contract talks with the LCBO break down.

The bargaining team announced a May 17 strike deadline – that’s the Friday before the Victoria Day long weekend.

OPSEU said the main issues are wages and benefits, job security and improvements to health and safety standards.