The LCBO is asking the union representing approximately 10,000 of its workers to agree to a third-party mediator joining their bargaining negotiations to prevent a looming strike.

In a letter addressed to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) on Monday, the LCBO asked the mutually agreed upon mediator be brought in as soon as possible.

The request comes just a day after 97 per cent of LCBO employees voted overwhelmingly in favour of a mandate to walk off the job. The liquor retailer said 8,060 LCBO employees took part, representing an 86-per-cent turnout.

OPSEU requested a no-board report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour on June 13. Once granted, the report would set a 17-day countdown to a legal strike.

OPSEU has said the Ford government’s expansion of private alcohol sales translates to the government “selling off the work of the LCBO to private warehouses (and) off-site companies."

The LCBO said it has several bargaining dates with the union this week to resume negotiations with a focus on achieving a renewal collective agreement that helps the LCBO “operate efficiently and effectively for Ontarians in a changing marketplace."