It’s about community safety, and it’s about good jobs. Privatization is an attack on both of those. — OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Windsor (3 August 2016) — On July 29, 2016, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) held an information picket outside an LCBO outlet in Windsor. The goal was to foster public debate around Kathleen Wynne’s plan to privatize alcohol sales by expanding them to grocery stores across the province.
Beer has been available in 60 grocery stores provincewide since December, and wine is to be sold in 70 grocery stores this fall. Concern is mounting that making alcohol more widely available will lead to increased social harms ranging from health problems to motor vehicle accidents.
OPSEU has been critical of the government’s decision to liberalize alcohol sales without doing its due diligence and investigating the potential risks associated.
About community safety and good jobs
“This is about two key things,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It’s about community safety, and it’s about good jobs. Privatization is an attack on both of those. The LCBO belongs to all of us, and its profits help keep our public services going. Nobody voted for the Ontario Liberals to take that away from us.”
An additional point of concern is the LCBO’s move to online sales. OPSEU-represented LCBO workers have always supported improving services for customers in a safe and responsible way.
“The question lingers, though,” said Thomas, “of whether these new services meet those social responsibility standards and contribute to bringing and keeping good jobs in communities across the province.”
More information pickets later in August
OPSEU represents 7,000 LCBO employees in more than 400 communities across Ontario. More information pickets are expected throughout Ontario later in the month.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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