In a release early Wednesday evening, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries (MBLL) announced a tentative agreement had been reached with the Manitoba Government Employees’ Union (MGEU) representing approximately 1,400 liquor employees.

The release states that the tentative agreement is a four-year contract, with compounding general wage increases every year, retroactive to March 25, 2022. Also included are pay scale adjustments, other targeted shift premiums and allowances, benefit enhancements, and a one-time lump sum payment.

MBLL thanked MGEU leadership and its bargaining committee saying "This agreement was reached through hard work and complex negotiations, and we recognize that this intensive process has not been easy for anyone."

MGEU will begin its ratification process on Thursday, August 24 and we respect this.

Meanwhile, a disagreement between Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and its employees' union, the Manitoba Government and General Employee's Union (MGEU), is causing concerns about a possible strike.

MPI says their offer to increase employees' pay by up to 17 percent over four years was rejected by MBEU.

MGEU president Kyle Ross said that many workers, like those at the liquor stores, are asking for fair pay to keep up with higher prices.

“No one wants to go on strike. These are people’s livelihoods we’re talking about here,” Ross said in a post on the MGEU website. “But sometimes we have to take a stand. No matter who you are, or where you work, your wages aren’t going as far as they used to and you deserve a fair increase. Those in power are not the ones falling behind here. It’s working Manitobans, those on the front lines of serving our communities. Right now, our members are standing together, doing their best to make sure fairness prevails.”

MPI's offer included a plan for an arbitrator to decide on pay increases.

“We are naturally disappointed with MGEU’s response because it means that an entirely avoidable strike might still occur,” said Ward Keith, MPI’s board Chair, in a press release Wednesday “With this enhanced offer, MPI employees would have seen immediate retroactive pay and bonuses, other significant increases and gains, and immediate benefit enhancements.”

No exact date for a strike has been set. The workers' contract with MPI ran out as of September 26, 2022.