HORNEPAYNE, ON, Sept. 23, 2019 /CNW/ - The municipal council of Hornepayne, a township north of Wawa, has joined with OPSEU in demanding that the LCBO abandon its irresponsible plan to privatize alcohol sales in the community.
"I'm not the least bit surprised the people of Hornepayne are outraged over this terrible scheme," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "Closing the community's real LCBO and replacing it with a fake 'LCBO Convenience Outlet' is like borrowing a buck and then paying back 50 cents.
"With a real LCBO, the community gets good jobs and can count on highly trained professionals making sure that alcohol doesn't get into the hands of kids and people who appear intoxicated," Thomas said.
"I think most folks in the Hornepayne area also know that shopping at an LCBO means they're supporting vital public services like health and education instead of putting dollars in the pockets of a few Ford cronies."
Last year, public opinion research by pollster Nik Nanos found Ontarians are 12 times more likely to choose a real LCBO store over private outlets in order to keep alcohol out of the hands of kids.
OPSEU Executive Board Member and Liquor Board Employee Division chair Jennifer Van Zetten added that the scheme wouldn't just hurt the people of Hornepayne – everybody in Ontario would pay the price.
"As an LCBO employee, I can tell you we are all incredibly proud to be working for an organization that returns all of its profits to the people of Ontario. That's money that we can invest in our hospitals, highways, and other public services," said Van Zetten. "With these privatized fake 'convenience outlets,' up to 10 per cent of the profits get skimmed off by the private sector."
Tara Maszczakiewicz, who is the Regional Vice President for the OPSEU region in which Hornepayne falls, says the LCBO needs to stop treating northern and rural areas as second-class communities.
"Over the past few years, OPSEU has fought hard to force the LCBO to back off on misguided plans to close stores and lay off staff in a number of small communities across the province," said Maszczakiewicz. "And the LCBO can count on us to fight hard against this closure."
OPSEU is fighting the expansion of private alcohol sales across the province with its "Keep it Public" campaign (www.keepitpublic.ca), which encourages people to shop at real LCBO outlets.
Thomas said OPSEU is also fighting the expansion with its collective agreement.
"It's right there in the contract: the employer does not get to close a real LCBO store and then re-open the next day as an outlet store," said Thomas. "The employer can avoid this losing fight by just doing the right thing: keep a real LCBO in Hornepayne."
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931