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Industry NewsLCBO workers protest the sale of wine and beer in grocery stores

LCBO workers protest the sale of wine and beer in grocery stores

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Unionized workers at LCBO outlets have launched a series of rotating information pickets to highlight what they say is the importance of their work to public safety and services.

Workers represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), were at the Lynden Road outlet in Brantford, Ont., last Saturday as part of a province-wide initiative. OPSEU members handed out postcards addressed to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne which stated: “Nobody voted for you to privatize the LCBO.” Another information picket is planned at an LCBO store in Stratford, Ont., this coming Saturday, according to a Paris Star Online report.

“We think it’s important for people to know how much training we receive,” said Wayne Peck, president of Local 165, which represents workers across a large swath of southwestern Ontario, including Brantford. “Our workers receive a lot of training to make sure alcohol isn’t sold to minors or to people who are intoxicated. That’s what separates us from those who work in grocery or large departments stores.”

Grocery and department stores sell a variety of products, whereas employees at LCBO locations sell only alcohol, he added.

Peck also noted that profits from the LCBO, unlike those from private corporations, go back into the community by way of public services, including hospitals, schools and roads. “We see shopping at LCBO as an investment in our community that benefits all families now and into the future,” he said.

Ontario grocery stores began selling beer in December 2015, and have since added cider and wine. The government’s plans call for wine to be available in 300 grocery stores across the province while beer would be available in 450 such stores, the news report said.

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