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  • Winnipeg Tribune

What is the Liquor Strike Really About? - Editorial


Tuesday, August 15, 2023 - Why would employees want their union to negotiate in public? It creates division, which we don't need more of in this country and province.


Now it would appear the MGEU is opposed to traditional binding arbitration. Why?


It's a fair question when you consider that it is well-known that arbitration has emerged as a valuable tool that offers numerous benefits to labour unions, employees, and employers when it comes to resolving disputes and reaching agreements in union negotiations.


So, is the Manitoba Liquor strike about higher employee wages and a fair deal, or is it the coming provincial election?


Another fair question, especially since the MGEU said they would want conditions if they were to agree to binding arbitration. Everyone knows, that's not how it works; one would think a union president would be well aware of this.


As a neutral and efficient process, arbitration can significantly contribute to fostering harmonious labour relations, ensuring fairness, and expediting decision-making. Does the president of MGEU not want that for the employees he represents, or is he purposefully making it political?


It is no secret that the MGEU supports the NDP of Manitoba, so it's hard to believe that the intent isn't purely a political play.


Let's not forget that the PC Government put forward legislation, stopped by the NDP, to privatize some liquor sales. The legislation was only for a pilot project.


Now, we believe the legislation could be much more robust. You don't have to look far to see the financial benefits of the Alberta approach and legislation. So will the strike reinforce the need for privatization and strengthen the PC legislation?


Is this why the MGEU is striking?


If the strike is simply about a fair deal for employees, as the MGEU claims, then they must embrace arbitration as it balances parties' conflicting interests and contributes to a healthier work environment and sustainability for the employees they represent and all Manitobans.

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