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LCBO Workers on Strike


An Ontario Update from Kris Barnier, Vice-President, Central Canada:

Updated July 5, 2024: LCBO issued a public statement this morning acknowledging that its workers have gone on strike.

It is impossible to know how long a strike action will last. While we hope it will be short-lived, we should be prepared for a longer strike action as it seems the two sides are far apart and the union representing the workers has said, “We have a very healthy strike fund… and we can weather a strike as long as necessary.

Restaurants Canada will remain in close contact with the LCBO and government, and we will continue to urge the two sides to come together quickly to find a resolution so as to minimize harm to your businesses, your employees, and to the customers you work hard to serve.  

Leading into the strike, Restaurants Canada worked hard to advocate for contingency measures specifically designed to help mitigate the impact of a strike action on Ontario’s restaurants and bars. We specifically called out challenges facing smaller and independent restaurants who may not have the cash flow necessary to buy in bulk or to stock up in advance of a strike. While it will not be business as usual, LCBO has shared more details about their contingency plan for how they will continue to serve restaurants and bars.

Last week, LCBO shared information on how licensees can continue to place and receive orders. As of today, and through the duration of the strike:

  • LCBO says it will be accepting licensee orders via These orders will be in case lot for each item ordered and will be delivered to establishments free of charge.
  • Product assortment will be limited to a selection of SKUs LCBO has planned to support an increase in inventory and customer preferences.
  • When limited LCBO retail locations open (July 19), LCBO says licensees will be welcomed to shop in-store. No product capacities/limits will apply when they identify at checkout, and they will receive their discount at point-of-sale as always.
  • LCBO also reminds us that all returns will be accepted once regular operations resume following a strike. 

LCBO also stated in a communication it sent out this morning, “We appreciate the unique considerations of our licensee customers. If businesses were unable to stock up in advance or ordering by the case causes significant challenges, we are implementing a temporary solution for shopping by the unit, effective Wednesday, July 10, and until the select LCBO retail locations open (July 19).”  

  • Customers can email to indicate they are a licensee looking to place an order by the bottle.
  • A member of our team will contact customers on what to expect from the order process and which stores are open to process licensee orders. Appointments will be booked between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to shop in-store.
  • If there is not a location close to the customer’s establishment, we will be in touch to process the order and payment and will ship products free of charge. Deliveries should be received by licensees in 3-7 days.
  • Our Customer Care team is here to help with any questions or concerns.

Despite LCBO’s contingency plans, striking workers will picket at LCBO distribution centers and eventually at open retail locations, further impeding the distribution of alcohol to your business.    

We are continuing to stay highly engaged with media and will use our opportunities to speak about the impact of the strike on your business and to encourage Ontarians to visit their local restaurants and bars.

Just a friendly reminder that you have the option to purchase wine directly from Ontario wineries. The following message was provided to us by Wine Growers Canada.

“In the event of a strike at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (the LCBO) restaurants will continue to be able to secure a reliable and affordable channel for wine – direct delivery from Ontario wineries. Many of you already take advantage of having Ontario wineries direct deliver great Ontario wines to your door and more of you may wish to explore this opportunity during a possible LCBO strike. The process is easy. Just look up your favourite winery online or browse through to get contact information for almost any winery in the province. Ontario wineries can legally deliver wines direct to your door and many have experienced On-Premise sales teams to support your business.”