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LCBO workers fight Ford’s privatization

Pam Johnson

March 26, 2024
On March 12, Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) workers, members of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) held a province-wide day of action to fight for their jobs and against the Ford governments attempt to privatize the LCBO.
LCBO workers had just finished an arbitration that resulted in a retroactive 6.5% wage increase when Ford’s wage freeze Bill 124 was declared unconstitutional. They have immediately entered into the next round of collective bargaining with the Ford government. The March 12 day of action was a kick-off to bargaining and message that they are ready to fight. 
They are not just fighting for decent working conditions; they are fighting Ford’s attempt to privatize the LCBO by selling it piecemeal to his corporate friends. The Ford government has already privatized the filling of online orders and have begun shifting distribution to private third-party warehouses. Special orders, printing and information services have also been contracted out.
"It's pretty clear that Doug Ford can't be trusted to tell the truth about LCBO privatization,"  said JP Hornick, President of OPSEU. This is the same government that was trying to sell off the Greenbelt to make their developer buddies even richer.’
It is the same sell off that is going on in health care. The recently passed Bill 60will funnel billions from public hospitals into private, for-profit clinics and hospitals. Publicly owned Ontario Place has been leased to a private developer for a luxury spa for the rich. 
The LCBO annually generates $2.5 billion in revenue that goes directly into public services like health care and education. Privatization will gut this funding and it will also lead to the loss of good, unionized jobs with benefits, pensions and sick days. 
LCBO workers are fighting to keep those revenues invested in public services and to fight for good jobs. Public sector workers can stop Ford in his tracks, as the CUPE education workersdid when they struck illegally and won. These workers deserve out support and solidarity as they ramp up this struggle.
Learn more (full OPSEU statement)
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