LCBO's staff union says employees working overtime on product backlog, but no update

LCBO Empty Shelves

As the Liquor Control Board of Ontario continues to deal with a backlog because of a transition to an updated warehouse system, the union representing staff say they've been given no indication of when the problem will be fixed. 

"Honest to goodness I can't answer that question," OPSEU president Smokey Thomas said. "They (LCBO) don't tell us anything really that you can rely on."

Thomas said employees are working overtime and doing double shifts in an attempt to get shipments out as much as possible. 

"Because they have to do it a lot more manually," he said. "They don't really have a timeline of when they'll all be caught up because they don't know when the actual system itself is going to be fixed." 

Thomas said concerns with the new system were raised early on, but management went ahead with the system anyway. 

Requests to the LCBO for comment have not been returned. 

CTV News reported this week some managers say a sense of normalcy is returning, adding the LCBO warned them about the system changes in advance and have been in communication. 

Earlier this week, the board said the updated technology is central to the modernization of the business. 

"Deliveries remain slightly behind schedule," the board said in a statement Tuesday,"The LCBO is working diligently to ensure that we maintain daily replenishment orders to our stores and to our wholesale customers and that we get back to our regular operations as soon as possible." 

Because it's an operational issue, the Ministry of Finance also referred to the board's statement. 

"They're doing the best they can," Thomas said of staff. "So I hope the public don't blame the workers, somebody in management made a terrible decision and they're the ones that should be held accountable."