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Manitoba Liquor Marts to close for the weekend as strike continues

Liquor Marts in Manitoba are set to close for the weekend due to a labour dispute between workers and Manitoba Liquor and Lottery over wage increases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Liquor Marts in Manitoba are set to close for the weekend as a result of the ongoing strike over employee wages.

Several locations will remain open Friday but are set to close at 5 p.m., then all Manitoba Liquor and Lottery-operated stores will be closed until Monday, according to The Manitoba Liquor Marts website.

This will affect several stores in Grant Park, Garden City, Hargrave, and Ellice. MBLL originally didn’t plan to have any stores open on the weekend, but the Crestview store on Portage and the St. Vital store on Dakota will be open Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. using replacement workers.

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The Eastwinds Liquor Mart in Transcona will remain open but only to commercial customers.

Meanwhile, some rural retailers authorized by MBLL may still be open but may be dealing with a limited selection.

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Click to play video: 'Persons with alcohol dependency may face withdrawal amid Winnipeg liquor mart strike: psychologist'
Persons with alcohol dependency may face withdrawal amid Winnipeg liquor mart strike: psychologist

The head of the union representing striking Manitoba Liquor and Lottery employees says members will continue to picket province-wide until the Crown corporation presents them with what they feel is a fair deal.

Strike action began on July 19 when negotiations between the union and the Crown corporation began. Since then, multiple stores have been locked and MBLL has hired replacement workers to work the distribution centre.

Union members are demanding the same wage increase Premier Heather Stefanson and her cabinet are due to receive – 3.3 per cent in 2023 and 3.6 per cent in 2024.

With files from Global’s Nicole Buffie

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