LCBO workers optimistic as bargaining begins | National Union of Public and General Employees

LCBO workers optimistic as bargaining begins

Publicly-owned Ontario liquor board made $1.35 billion in profits for the Ontario taxpayers in 2007-08.

LCBO profitsToronto (11 March 2009) - Ontario liquor workers expect to negotiate a solid new contract despite the economic recession, mainly because the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is likely to continue to thrive on behalf of Ontario taxpayers.

“At a time when the economy is in trouble, good jobs are more important than ever to our families, our communities and our province," says Vanda Klumper, chair of the bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).

"Employers like the LCBO who have ample resources to provide good jobs need to step up. We have a clear mandate from our members to make serious gains in the next collective agreement. With the support of the members, I know we will succeed,” Klumper says.

Bargaining between the LCBO and the union began this week — after months of preparation — with an initial exchange of proposals. Thirteen further days of meetings are scheduled between now and May 1. Additional dates will be added if necessary.

“This is a big moment for all OPSEU members at the LCBO and the team is very excited about the opportunity before us,” says Klumper.

For the year ending March 31, 2008, the LCB0 had net sales of $4.13 billion, including a profit (or dividend) of $1.35 billion transferred to the general revenues of the government of Ontario. It also collected $383 million in provincial sales tax during the year, and sent a further $458 million to Ottawa in federal sales tax (GST).

Over the past five years LCBO profits have totalled nearly $6 billion for the province. The agency operates at a profit margin of 48.9%. LCBO operating expenses as a percentage of net sales totalled only 16.1% during the 2007-08 year.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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