Fight against privatization continues: LCBO workers to picket

Pickering – After a successful July information picket garnered strong public support, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will be holding a second picket in Pickering. The picket is part of the union’s efforts to foster discussion around opposition to the Liberals privatizing and liberalizing alcohol sales.

Date:     Thursday, August 25, 2016

Time:     3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Place:    Outside LCBO Store #776, 1899 Brock Rd, Pickering

“We’re continuing what our members started in July,” said local 377 president Tracy Vyfschaft. “Through this backdoor privatization, money that could be funding important public services is going into the hands of private business.

“This short-sighted decision will force the government to look elsewhere for revenue. Private business gets profits, while the public gets taxed.”

Beer has been available in 60 grocery stores province-wide since December, and wine is to be sold in 70 grocery stores as of October or November of this year. Concern is mounting that increasing availability of alcohol 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 investigating the potential risks. Members in Local 377 are inviting the public to join the picket.

“I’m worried about people who struggle with or are recovering from alcoholism,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “When someone is walking through the grocery store to get some milk, and they walk right by a fridge full of beer, how hard will that be for them? Especially when the average person grocery shops weekly.”

Concern lingers surrounding the sudden rolling out of online sales for the LCBO. While OPSEU members of the LCBO have continuously supported improving services for customers in a safe and responsible way, they are still unsure about how social responsibility will be maintained under the initiative.

For more information: Tracy Vyfschaft, 905-809-5096