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Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries to close 7 locations, lock out unionized staff for 24 hours

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is closing six Liquor Mart locations in Winnipeg and one in Brandon for 24 hours and locking out unionized employees as a labour dispute between the Crown corporation and its union drags on. 

The Crown corporation says the decision was “not taken lightly” but is necessary in order to continue to operate its retail locations as the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union has refused to allow its unionized Liquor Mart employees to restock shelves as part of ongoing job action, according to an emailed statement.

Some of the 1,400 MGEU members who work at retail Liquor Marts around the province as well as the distribution centre on King Edward Street in Winnipeg have held several days of job action since July 19.

The following Liquor Mart locations in Winnipeg will be closed starting Tuesday at 7 a.m. and ending Wednesday at 7 a.m.: 

  • Crestview Liquor Mart.
  • Eastwinds Liquor Mart.
  • Garden City Liquor Mart.
  • Grant Park Liquor Mart.
  • Hargrave & Ellice Liquor Mart.
  • St. Vital Square Liquor Mart.

The Brandon South Liquor Mart will also be closed for the same time period. 

Liquor store workers in Winnipeg and Brandon walked off the job Friday and continued striking into Sunday, while all other liquor store employees in rural and northern stores were working, Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union said in a news release.

However, those working are being instructed by their union to refuse overtime and not to perform certain duties such reviewing pallet sheets and signing off on receivables.

All unionized Liquor Mart employees were expected to return to work on Monday while employees at the distribution centre are expected to remain on strike until Tuesday morning. 

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