LCBO overtime; unions slam as “appalling”

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The LCBO will increase the hours of operation of hundreds of its stores ahead of the long weekend ahead as the province seeks to begin the slow process of reopening the economy.

More than 360 stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, while other stores will continue with the COVID-19 schedule from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. those days. Most stores will continue to be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, said the LCBO.

The new hours are scheduled to take effect on May 14.

However, OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas accused LCBO CEO George Soleas and his management team of putting profit before staff safety by increasing the hours just before the end Queen’s Day Weekend.

“It is absolutely appalling that Soleas and his friends refuse to pay a risk premium to their frontline workers but have no qualms about increasing the number of hours they are potentially exposed to COVID-19,” said Thomas in a statement released Wednesday.

He said the longer hours mean more opportunities for front-line workers to be exposed to COVID-19.

“I think last week (Prime Minister Doug Ford) referred to a blind disregard for the safety of the other as the action of the yahoos,” said Thomas, referring to Ford’s comments about the protesters demanding an immediate reopening of the economy. “I strongly recommend that the Prime Minister tell these guys to pack their bags too. “

OPSEU said LCBO stores have seen sales increase of up to 31%, but has chosen to reward employees with donated chocolate bunnies.

The union called for a “pandemic recognition salary” to supplement the wages of front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

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