OPSEU Liquor Board Employees Division

“Stop privatizing alcohol”: LCBO employees to picket in Windsor

Windsor – This Friday afternoon, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) will be holding an information picket in Windsor. Members are hoping to foster public debate around opposition to Premier Wynne’s government privatization of alcohol sales by expanding them to grocery stores across the province.              

Date: Friday, July 29, 2016
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Place: Outside LCBO Store #367, 3165 Howard Avenue, Windsor

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.

“This is a public safety issue,” said Jennifer Van Zetten, Local 162 president. “Research shows the connection between increased availability of alcohol and the rise of alcohol-related harms and costs, such as hospitalization, emergency services, and lost work time.”         

OPSEU has been critical of the government’s decision to liberalize alcohol sales without doing its due diligence and investigating the potential risks associated. OPSEU members in Local 162 are inviting the public to join the picket.

“This is about two key things,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It’s about community safety, and it’s about good jobs. Privatization is an attack on both of those. The LCBO belongs to all of us, and its profits help keep our public services going. Nobody voted for the Ontario Liberals to take that away from us.”

An additional point of concern is the LCBO’s move to online sales. OPSEU members of the LCBO have continuously supported improving services for customers in a safe and responsible way.

“The question lingers, though,” said Thomas. “Of whether these new services meet those social responsibility standards and contribute to bringing and keeping good jobs in communities across the province.”

For more information: Jennifer Van Zetten, 519-257-0817