CBC: Manitoba liquor mart employees vote 97% in favour of strike
In reporting on the threat of a strike by MLCC employees, the CBC asked labour studies professor David Camfield for his thoughts.
David Camfield, an associate professor of labour studies at the University of Manitoba, says the timing of the strike vote — just in time for the holidays — puts the union at an advantage.
“It’s a savvy move on the part of the union to be in negotiations at a time when the liquor commission does such a large proportion of its annual sales,” he said.
Camfield said if there is a strike, public support would depend on how people are affected. Any strike poses a significant inconvenience for people, which puts the union at risk, he said.
At the same time, he said the increased demand for liquor and beer during the Christmas holidays will add pressure on the employer.
“I think they’re both in a difficult situation, but I don’t think the employer’s in a good position,” he said.
Camfield added that a labour dispute would create a real headache for Manitoba’s NDP government, so it will probably want to discourage a strike.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries’ demand for concessions is what driving the union toward strike action, he said.
Union officials say they won’t comment on their next move until Friday.