OPSEU demands LCBO vice-chair’s removal until Integrity Commissioner investigates attack ads

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is demanding the immediate removal of LCBO vice-chair Quinto Annibale now that he’s been linked to the anonymous and deep-pocketed advertising campaign attacking education workers for exercising their constitutional rights.

“Annibale’s connection to this secretive anti-worker campaign raises serious questions about his judgement, competence, and integrity,” said Thomas. “The LCBO is one of the province’s most important public institutions and Ontarians deserve to feel confident that it’s being run by professionals working in good-faith, not pork-barrellers who’d stoop to anonymous smears against people exercising their rights.

“The Integrity Commissioner must investigate this. And until that investigation is complete, Annibale must go.”

The campaign, operating under the name “Vaughan Working Families,” purchased an estimated $200,000 worth of newspaper and social media advertising attacking education workers and their unions because they’re bargaining for reasonable class sizes and decent working conditions.

“It doesn’t get any lower than this,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “A high-on-the-hog lawyer gets a sweet patronage appointment from the government. And then he starts posing as a group of working-class families, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to attack real working-class families.

“Where did all that money come from? Did anybody in government know?” Almeida asked. “Mr. Ford promised he’d do things differently. But it’s just another promise made, promise betrayed.”

Thomas pointed out that more than 8,000 OPSEU members who work at the LCBO are getting ready to go into their next round of bargaining.

“How can they trust that the LCBO will bargain in good faith when its vice-chair is embroiled in a scandal like this?” Thomas asked. “How can they trust that he won’t spend a fortune on anonymous ads attacking them for asserting their rights at the bargaining table?”

For more information:
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931