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Liquor-workers’ strike leaves brewers in limbo

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Frustrated local breweries are watching their sales dry up as a provincewide strike that has shuttered most Manitoba Liquor Marts enters its second week.

“(We) lost the biggest customer,” Sean Shoyoqubov, founder of Oxus Brewing Company in St. James, said Sunday, explaining that Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries makes up at least 60 per cent of Oxus’s beer sales.

An ongoing wage dispute between Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MLL) and about 1,400 striking members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU) has closed most Liquor Mart locations across the province.


<img src=”https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/08/1617727_web1_230813_Sean_Shoyoqubov_5.jpg?w=1000″ alt=”
JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“(We) lost the biggest customer,” Sean Shoyoqubov, founder of Oxus Brewing Company in St. James, said Sunday, explaining that Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries makes up at least 60 per cent of Oxus’s beer sales.

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JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“(We) lost the biggest customer,” Sean Shoyoqubov, founder of Oxus Brewing Company in St. James, said Sunday, explaining that Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries makes up at least 60 per cent of Oxus’s beer sales.

On Saturday and Sunday, just two Liquor Marts in Winnipeg were open.

And that has some local breweries worried their beer — and sales — will go down the drain.

Since MLL must approve new beer listings, Shoyoqubov said, Oxus has a 3,000-litre batch, equivalent to 6,000 cans, sitting in limbo.

The IPA’s application will remain pending while the strike continues, Shoyoqubov said.

“It is time sensitive. You have to release that (beer) at its peak,” he said. “Most probably, that beer will be a dumper… depending on when the strike ends.”

The beer in question has an overall retail value of $25,000, Shoyoqubov said.

The strike has also paused sales between Stone Angel Brewing Company and its largest buyer.

“It’s poor for business,” said Paul Clerkin, the brewery’s co-owner. “The liquor commission has enormous buying power.”

Stone Angel is also hit two-fold by the strikes: MLL isn’t ordering their beer, and it’s not completing the paperwork necessary for breweries to sell new products to private vendors and other customers, Clerkin said.

“We still have to pay rent and payroll,” Shoyoqubov from Oxus noted. “If (the strike) lasts for another month or two, there’s a good chance some breweries might be in big trouble.”

A majority of his sales — roughly 70 per cent — happen during the summer months, he said.

“Summer’s supposed to be the time to sell lots of beer. You hear the saying, ‘You have to make hay when the sun shines.’ The sun is shining, and nobody can make hay,”– Colin Koop, co-owner of Devil May Care Brewery

“Summer’s supposed to be the time to sell lots of beer,” said Colin Koop, co-owner of Devil May Care Brewery. “You hear the saying, ‘You have to make hay when the sun shines.’ The sun is shining, and nobody can make hay.”

His brewery isn’t affected: Devil May Care doesn’t currently sell in MLL outlets.

However, Koop and his partners had been considering selling in MLL’s Liquor Marts.

“Now that we’re looking at it, I’m not totally sure that I want to do that, in the short-term,” Koop said, adding he’d like to see “real stability” before taking the business step.

Meantime, private vendors inside Winnipeg and beyond are seeing more sales.

“It’s been busier on the hard liquor side,” Braden Hill said, referring to coolers and similar drinks sold at The Bottle Stop.

The employee has noticed an “uptick” in business.

Derek Brennan resorted to buying alcohol from an outlet in a nearby grocery store to keep the beer vendor and bar in Mountain Motor Inn stocked.

Buying liquor for the Stony Mountain company has become difficult; it orders through Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Brennan said.

“I’ve run out of a few things, but I’ve still got a lot of the main stuff that I need,” he said.

He replenished right before the strike.

Things could change if the strike continues, he added — people are loading up at the beer vendor, and the nearby grocery store has “pretty bare” alcohol shelves.

Crestview and St. Vital had the only two open liquor marts in Winnipeg Sunday. The Crestview location was busy, but less so than its “crazy busy” counterpart early in the afternoon, a Crestview employee said on the phone.

The union representing striking MLL workers didn’t have an update on negotiations Sunday.

“As far as I know… the employer has not moved an inch since the strike began. We’re ready to go to work once we get a fair deal,”– Kyle Ross, president of the MGEU

“As far as I know… the employer has not moved an inch since the strike began,” said Kyle Ross, president of the MGEU. “We’re ready to go to work once we get a fair deal.”

Union members have been without a contract since March of 2022. They want raises in line with those obtained by Premier Heather Stefanson and her cabinet — 3.3 per cent in 2023, and 3.6 per cent in both 2024 and 2025.

MLL is offering a two-per-cent raise per year over four years, and raising the hourly starting wage $2.38 above the province’s minimum wage.

The current starting hourly wage for MLL workers is $14.91, increasing to $15.30 in October in line with the raise in minimum wage.

The last liquor-related dispute in Manitoba happened in October of 1978, when workers struck for seven weeks.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries didn’t respond to requests for comment by print deadline. A reduced number of liquor marts are scheduled to open today. A full list, along with hours, are online at liquormarts.ca/hours.

With files from Tyler Searle

 

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LCBO stores reopen 18 days after workers walked off the job as stores anticipate deliveries to restock – Toronto Star

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LCBO stores reopen 18 days after workers walked off the job as stores anticipate deliveries to restock  Toronto StarView Full Coverage on Google News

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Delta still struggling after Crowdstrike outage, cancelling hundreds more flights Monday – CBC.ca

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  1. Delta still struggling after Crowdstrike outage, cancelling hundreds more flights Monday  CBC.ca
  2. Falcon Content Update Remediation and Guidance Hub  CrowdStrike
  3. July 19-22, 2024 operation  Delta News Hub
  4. Delta still cancelling hundreds of flights after CrowdStrike outage. Why?  Global News Toronto
  5. CrowdStrike incident has CIOs rethinking their cloud strategies  CIO

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Before Spending Money on a ‘Career Coach,’ Do Yourself a Favour, First Try These Job Search Strategies

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I’m sure you’re aware of the “career coaching” industry—Internet talking heads promising job search and career success—that’s sprung up in recent years. Worth noting: The industry is unregulated. All career coaches are self-proclaimed; no certification or licensing is required.

 

Career coaches have one ultimate goal: To make money off you.

 

Today’s tight job market is making job seekers frustrated and desperate, which career coaches are taking advantage of with their promise of insider knowledge, personalized guidance, and a direct line to the hidden job market. Career coaches market themselves as a shortcut to finding a job, which is appealing when you’ve been unemployed for a while.

 

I’m not averse to hiring a career coach to assist you with your job search; it’s your money. However, keep in mind a career coach…

 

  • is a significant expense, especially if you’re unemployed
  • will only offer common sense advice, nothing that you probably already don’t know or haven’t read or heard before, and
  • doesn’t have insider knowledge

 

…and you’ll still need to do the activities related to job searching.

 

When asked, “Nick, should I hire a career coach?” my answer is an unequivocal “No!” Conducting your job search solo will not only save you money, you’ll also be developing job search skills you’ll need for the next time—chances are there’ll be a next time—you’re job hunting. Before spending thousands of dollars on a career coach, I suggest first trying the following job search strategies.

 

Optimize your online presence.

 

In today’s digital-first job market, employers will check your online digital footprint to evaluate your candidacy; are your interview-worthy? Start with the obvious: Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and showcases your quantified accomplishments (a non-quantified statement is an opinion) so employers can see the value you can add. Do yourself a favour, read LinkedIn Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide to Navigating Digital Landscapes Effectively, by Benjamin Stone.

 

Necessary: Stay active on LinkedIn!

 

Your LinkedIn profile can’t be non-active. Maximizing LinkedIn’s potential requires regularly engaging with content, commenting on posts, and contributing original content. Engaging actively and visibly on LinkedIn will lead to opportunities.

 

Next:

 

  • List your social media accounts.
  • Deactivate accounts you are no longer using.
  • Set any accounts you don’t want prospective employers or recruiters to see to private.
  • Ensure your social media profiles (g., display name, handle, headshot, bio) convey the same message about your professional background.

 

Leverage your existing network (a low-hanging fruit few job seekers take advantage of).

 

Everyone has a network of some sort. This means since all job opportunities are attached to people—good news—there are job opportunities all around you. Often, your barista, dentist, hairstylist, neighbours, fellow members of whatever club or association you’re a part of, and, of course, family and friends can help open doors for you.

 

Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for a new job. Always carry extra copies of your resume and hand them out when appropriate. You’ll be surprised at the number of people willing to help you when they understand your situation.

 

Read these two books:

 

 

Ferrazzi outlines practical strategies for building relationships, networking, and leveraging connections

.

 

Hollins provides actionable strategies for achieving your job search and career goals, such as overcoming procrastination and boosting productivity with focus and discipline.

 

Apply less, connect more.

 

Applying online is a waste of time. In previous columns, I’ve noted that applying online is comparable to playing the lottery; you’re hoping a stranger hires you. Numerous studies have shown that most jobs aren’t advertised; they’re filled through connections and referrals.

 

Job searching today is a long game; you need to be patient. Today, you need to network your way into a company and identify opportunities, which no career coach can do for you. It’s unlikely the resume you submit online will be reviewed. Paying to have your resume redesigned won’t get it more views; getting it in front of people who can hire you will.

 

Take what you will from the following.

 

A few months back, a job seeker asked me, “I’ve been working as a help desk agent at a healthcare software company for five years. I want to become a Director of IT at a large multinational company. What should I do?”

 

How should I know? I’m not a Director of IT. Why not ask the Director of IT at a large multinational company?

 

Take advantage of the fact that people love talking about themselves. Dinner with someone who holds the position you aspire to is a better investment than hiring a career coach who lacks your dinner partner’s real-world experience. I charted my career path by observing those ahead of me and seeking their advice. Talking to people who are where you want to be will benefit your job search and help you achieve your career aspirations.

 

By shifting your mindset, optimizing your online presence, leveraging your existing network, staying engaged on LinkedIn, and connecting with the right people, you won’t need to hire a costly career coach, and you’ll develop skills you can use throughout your career.

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers “unsweetened” job search advice. You can send Nick your questions to artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

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