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Union says extending LCBO hours next week puts workers at risk

Last Updated May 6, 2020 at 12:19 pm EDT

A Canadian flag flies near an LCBO store in Bowmanville, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives
Summary

As of May 14, 360 of its stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

OPSEU -- the union that represents LCBO workers -- says the increased hours will put workers at risk

Union wants the LCBO to give staff a pandemic pay bump, in lieu of executives getting bonuses

 

The LCBO has announced it will be extending its hours starting next week but the union has concerns, saying that it puts the safety of workers at risk.

The LCBO has been operating on reduced hours during the coronavirus pandemic. But as of May 14, 360 of its stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Currently, the stores are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those days.

Sunday hours will remain the same, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

However, Smokey Thomas, the president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union — the union that represents LCBO workers — is critical of the change.

“What are they going to do with those extended hours to ensure the safety of the people who work in the warehouse, so that they can get the product to the stores?,” he said.

Thomas said he has concerns about staffing levels, the PPE available to employees, as well as how the extra crowd will be handled to control physical distancing.

“If you want increased hours make sure you have the staff to run the stores, make sure people have the proper equipment to run the stores safely,” he said.

He is also calling on the LCBO to give staff a pandemic pay bump, in lieu of executives getting bonuses.

 

RELATED: Everything you need to know about coronavirus

 

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