"It’s reckless for the government to not reconsider its plans for privatization and the resulting loss of revenue considering the increasing local economic pressures on the province.” — Donna Christianson, Chair of SGEU's Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority bargaining unit.
Liquor Store Workers
“The added bonus is that new Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) stores are a great investment, generating substantial profits for Saskatchewan families each year. Any new liquor store will pay for itself, and then some." — Donna Christianson, SGEU Chair for SLGA bargaining unit.
Solidarity of members helps bargaining committee push back on concessions.
Despite making millions each year in revenue to support the province, the Saskatchewan government wants to privatize liquor sales.
"We stand in solidarity: the liquor workers want the employer to come back to the bargaining table prepared to bargain in earnest, without the concessions and with a reasonable wage offer," said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky.
Even the seemingly small step of allowing four new private liquor stores to open — two in Regina and two in Saskatoon — will mean lost revenue of approximately $3.5-$7.5 million each year, according to the new report.
MGEU/NUPGE members are seek strong strike madate to fight concessions at the bargaining table.
"These changes will offer increased convenience for shoppers and make the public stores even more competitive. With almost 200 outlets, larger stores, greater selection and knowledgeable staff, public liquor stores can compete with private stores.” — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.
The question remains why the Liberal-appointed panel refused to recommend bringing agency stores back into the LCBO as a way to increase revenue.
Supporters of publicly run liquor sales raise concerns about privatization of sector: $2.5 billion is a lot of money to give away to corporate interests that have no commitment to Saskatchewan and will take their profits elsewhere.