Posted May 12, 2017

LCBO Union targets Walmart for selling beer and cider

Toronto – A news release today from Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), the group representing 8,100 LCBO workers whom are currently under contract negotiations, asks why Ontario’s Liberal government awarded one-third of new beer and cider sales licenses to Walmart.

The Wynne government announced this week that 76 new Ontario grocery stores would be eligible to start selling beer and cider beginning June 30, 2017.

“Though they celebrated the expansion of beer and cider sales to an additional 76 private stores this week, the Liberals failed to mention that more than a third of the new retailers are Walmart stores, notorious for their low-wage, precarious working environments,” writes OPSEU.

“On the one hand, we lose when this government puts at risk the $2.4 billion the LCBO provides to pay for public services,” said OPSEU’s Denise Davis. “On the other hand, we lose when good jobs in communities across Ontario are replaced by Walmart jobs that won’t even cover the cost of living.”

OPSEU President Warren Thomas said. “this company has enriched its owners by paying poverty wages that require its workers to use food stamps in the United States and a number of publicly-funded social programs here in Ontario just to survive,” he said. “Now they want to take a cut of the profits that pay for those social programs.

“The Liberals seem blind to the fact that replacing middle-class LCBO jobs with minimum-wage Walmart ones is moving Ontario in the wrong direction,” he said. “Our young folks already face a job market with a growing number of low-wage, precarious jobs, and it seems every year the number of young people working on contracts with no benefits, no pension, and no security goes up.

He asks, “Is Walmart really the future Kathleen Wynne wants for Ontario?”

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