The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU/NUPGE) members who are fighting to stop the 34 publicly owned liquor stores from closing aren’t just fighting to protect their fellow union members. They are fighting for everyone in Saskatchewan.
Liquor Store Workers
A reminder that privatizing alcohol sales will increase the number of alcohol-related health care problems, including deaths, and the costs for the public.
“We’ve been living through this pandemic for a year and a half. There’s no longer any excuse for this kind of ill-prepared, knee-jerk decision-making around public health." — Sharon Friess, Chair of SGEU’s Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority bargaining unit
“My union recently convened a meeting of front-line workers from a wide range of communities from across the country who are dealing with the overdose crisis. I wish you could have heard their comments. Speaker after speaker impressed upon me the urgency of the situation.” — Larry Brown, President NUPGE
"While it may not have been what the federal government intended, the way CEWS is set up effectively subsidizes privatization" — Bert Blundon, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
"And since this is clearly a ploy to open the door to all convenience stores selling alcohol, it will rob the province of alcohol revenues it needs to fund our vital public services while, at the same time, increasing alcohol harms and the demands on those already overburdened services." - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU/SEFPO President
NUPGE Annual Report: 2020 in Review is a look back on what NUPGE accomplished in 2020.
This ongoing pandemic is deepening the mental health crisis. Action is needed now to provide support to people in need. This World Mental Health Day we are raising the alarm and calling for governments to immediately invest in mental health supports ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President
When alcohol is delivered directly to the home, there is no safe way to refuse to complete a delivery if there are concerns based on age or the state of the intended recipient’s inebriation.
"This paper is one step of many that NUPGE will be taking on the topic of COVID-19 and income inequality. We know more work needs to be done on specific needs for different vulnerable populations. The problems facing our northern Indigenous communities are going to be different from the problems facing a new immigrant family who reside in the Greater Toronto Area. We want to make sure everyone's voice is heard and their needs addressed. We hope this paper helps our lawmakers to understand the complexity of how COVID-19 affects different social and economic groups and encourages them to take further action." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
We need an urgent summit of law enforcement, addictions and social services, public and private retailers, unions, and the provincial government. — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“The bottom line is the Premier’s cannabis plan is awash in $42 million in red ink. This would not have happened if the Conservatives had stuck to the previous government’s plan to have the LCBO handle cannabis sales.” - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President OPSEU
The LCBO is a massive organization that provides critical investment in our public services. It should be run by people who know the retail business and who know Ontario’s alcohol system, not by people who only know Ford’s cellphone number.
"We stand with OPSEU and urge you to reconsider your archaic policies and harmful push for privatization." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.
"It is critical to keep our services public, and in making today's announcement about the sales of edible cannabis products, our provincial government is supporting good jobs in communities throughout Nova Scotia." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
“It’s strange that on the one hand, the government is asking MLL to generate more profit, while on the other hand taking away the corporation’s ability to do that by sending more profit to private retailers."— Michelle Gawrornsky, MGEU President
“We’ve looked at the cold hard numbers, and they show that privatization has made liquor more expensive for Saskatchewan people." — Bob Stadnichuk, Chair of SGEU’s Retail/Regulatory Bargaining Committee
Charlottetown (10 April 2019) — In response to the election promise made by the PC Party to open up beer and wine sales in grocery and convenience stores, the President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEI UPSE/NUPGE) says that the union would oppose any further privatization of the sale of liquor in the province.
According to the study, alcohol-related visits to hospital emergency departments in Ontario increased by 17.8 per cent after grocery stores started to sell beer and wine.
“It means giving business more opportunities to push alcohol sales at a great cost to the health and safety of our kids and communities. It’s a ploy to help private retailers increase their profits at the expense of public welfare." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President