Hundreds of OPSEU/SEFPO members – including President Warren (Smokey) Thomas – were among the many people and organizations who filed formal objections to the 61 7-Eleven liquor license applications in 31 communities across the province.
“I’m very pleased, but not surprised, that so many of our members objected to this scheme,” said Thomas. “People understand that the responsible sale of alcohol is crucially important to the safety of our communities.
“Ontarians want alcohol sales left in the hands of people they can trust: LCBO workers.”
With the support of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Executive Board, and the under the guidance of the union’s Liquor Board Employees Division (LBED) executive, the LBED Anti-Privatization Committee worked with LBED locals and public health allies to encourage members to file objections to the 7-Eleven applications.
Along with Thomas and the union itself, OPSEU/SEFPO members across the province filed official objections with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to 7-Eleven license applications in 28 communities. Toronto and Oshawa city councils also filed objections, as did a group of mayors from the province’s largest municipalities.
The deadline for AGCO objections has now passed, but you can read OPSEU/SEFPO’s objection here.
OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida said he’s proud that so many members spoke up against the further privatization of alcohol.
“Study after study shows that the so-called convenience of convenience store alcohol sales comes with a very high price,” said Almeida. “Letting 7-Eleven force open the door to hundreds or even thousands of new stores selling alcohol would put massive amounts of extra pressure on our already overburdened hospitals and jails. That’s not to mention all that we’d lose in lost productivity and lost LCBO revenue.
“7-Eleven has to be stopped, and OPSEU/SEFPO members stood up to stop it.”
LBED Divisional Executive and bargaining team chair Colleen MacLeod says she’s heartened by all the support.
“We’re getting ready to go into our next round of bargaining at the end of the month, and this has given the bargaining team the boost it needs to sit down with confidence,” said MacLeod. “We know that people value the work that we do, and we’re going to make sure the employer values it too.”