WINNIPEG, MB – An ongoing strike by members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU) employed by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (MBLL) has had a negative impact on many of the province’s craft breweries.
As reported by several news outlets including CBC, Winnipeg Free Press, and Global News, the closure of most Liquor Mart stores due to the strike has drastically reduced retail beer sales, with Stone Angel Brewing co-owner Paul Clerkin telling CBC that up to two-thirds of its beer is usually sold via the Liquor Mart chain.
In addition, while breweries can still sell previously available brands via their own taproom stores and private beer retailers, no new brands are currently bring approved for sale by the MBLL. This has left breweries with a large inventory new beers that they are not able to sell or distribute, with some fearing that they will have to pour the product down the drain if the strike drags on.
While the MBLL has accepted a recommendation from a conciliator to proceed with binding arbitration, the union has not accepted the recommendation and remains on strike for the time being.
More details about the strike and employee demands can be found on the MGEU website.