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OPSEU members host ninth successful anti-privatization picket, Mississauga

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OPSEU members at the LCBO continued their anti-privatization campaign with a picket in Mississauga on October 21. The picket was part of OPSEU’s broader campaign to stop the expansion of alcohol sales to grocery stores.

LCBO workers were joined by mobilizers from the OPSEU We Own It! campaign, as well as by high-ranking OPSEU members.

“It’s been amazing to see so many people come together in this campaign,” said Local 288 president Judy Irving. Despite a back injury, Irving was not deterred from hosting the information picket in her local – and in the rain, no less.

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Members braved brutally cold and wet weather at the Mississauga picket October 21.

“I should have been at home, resting, but [my injury] didn’t stop me. This is such an important campaign for all 7,500 OPSEU members at the LCBO, as well as for all Ontarians. It’s important that we get the message out to our customers that they own the LCBO; it’s not Premier Kathleen Wynne’s to give away. We’re making sure the public knows how much the LCBO gives back to this province to fund important public services like roads and schools.”

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The group poses with the "Shop LCBO" banner.

It has become clear throughout the campaign that Ontarians do not support the Ontario Liberal government’s plan to expand alcohol sales. Ontarians are concerned about the millions of dollars in lost revenue privatization would mean for the province. In fact, the LCBO has already come out and said it stands to lose 20 per cent of its revenue as a result of alcohol in grocery stores.

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OPSEU ponchos certainly came in handy at the picket.

A key concern is that, with privatization, the revenue that has until now gone straight back to the province to fund public services will instead be funneled to private retailers. In addition to revenue losses, increased availability of alcohol also threatens a hither-to strong and socially responsible alcohol retailing system in Ontario. As LBED Chair Denise Davis says, “it’s just plain bad policy.”

Visit the Stop Privatising our LCBO Index Page