Issue 27 - January 29, 2009
Liquor board employees ask Queen’s Park to direct LCBO to replace private
Agency kiosk with a real store
LBED chair Vanda Klumper addresses East
Gwillimbury town council where she urged members to ask Queen’s Park to
order the LCBO to replace the agency kiosk in Mount Albert with a real LCBO
Liquor board employees in Ontario are asking the provincial
government to order the LCBO to open a full-service retail outlet in the town of
Mount Albert, east of Newmarket, where a privately-owned and operated “agency
store” currently enjoys annual sales of more than $3 million.
“We have done our homework and the result is very clear: the
residents of Mount Albert want to replace the existing agency store kiosk in the
Sobeys grocery store on Highway 48 and replace it with an full-service LCBO
said Vanda Klumper, chair of the 6,000-member Liquor Board Employees Division of
the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
Klumper was speaking Jan. 26 to members of East Gwillimbury town
council, which represents residents of Mount Albert. OPSEU is asking councilors
to adopt a resolution calling on Queen’s Park to order the LCBO to close down
the agency store kiosk when its contract with Sobeys expires in November 2009.
Sobeys earns more than $300,000 annually in commissions from liquor, wine and
beer sales at the in-store kiosk – a dividend that ends up in Nova Scotia where
the company has its corporate headquarters.
OPSEU conducted a public opinion survey of more than 150
residents of Mount Albert in September 2008. Results of the survey, conducted by
Strategic Communications Inc., of Toronto, showed that more than two of three
respondents over the age of 19 want to see a real LCBO store in Mount Albert.
Those surveyed cited better product selection, professional
sales service and the LCBO’s reputation for social responsibility as the leading
reasons they prefer a real LCBO over a privately-owned and operated agency
They also endorsed the fact that profit earned by the LCBO –
more than $1.3 billion in 2007-08 – help pay for health care, education and
LCBO agency stores were introduced in 1962 with a mandate to
service remote northern Ontario communities. Since 2000, however, there has been
a dramatic increase in the number of private agency stores opening in southern
Ontario, many in communities just outside major urban centres. Today, the number
of agency stores in Ontario stands at more than 200.
“Agency stores represent the leading edge of privatization of
wine and spirit sales in Ontario. Time-after-time the people of Ontario have
said they reject privatization and want to see alcohol sales and distribution
stay in the hands of a public agency like the LCBO, which is a global leader in
the retailing of spirits,” said Klumper.
“The fact we have private retail stores like Sobeys doing more
than $3 million in annual sales undermines the purpose and mandate of the LCBO.
We’re calling on Premier McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, who
oversees the LCBO, to stop the expansion of agency stores and repatriate many of
the larger ones starting with Mount Albert.”
In March 2007 OPSEU released the findings of a financial
analysis of agency stores based on revenue figures provided by the LCBO. The
study showed that 89 agency stores could be repatriated to the LCBO, resulting
$340 million in additional profits to the LCBO over a 10-year period.
“That’s a tremendous amount of money that isn’t going into the
public treasury, especially during the tough economic times we find ourselves
in,” said Klumper.
For more information about agency stores please visit:
OPSEU senior negotiator Rob Field reports that important
progress is being made in preparation for contract talks with the employer.
Since LBED delegates met Nov. 22 to approve the union’s package
of final demands, several key developments have taken place.
On Jan. 8 the union gave formal Notification to Bargain to the
employer. A meeting has been scheduled for Feb. 11 between both sides to take
care of logistics associated with bargaining.
LBED’s bargaining team met Jan. 12-15 to review your demands and
other business associated with the bargaining process. The team next meets Feb.
No date has been set for the start of negotiations.
Members back plan to repatriate Mount Albert agency store
LBED members in stores 226 and 453 (Newmarket) and 630 and 311
(Aurora) met for a special briefing on Sunday Jan. 25 to learn details of the
campaign to replace the Sobeys Foodland agency store kiosk in Mount Albert with
a real, full-service LCBO outlet.
More than 20 LBED members from the four stores attended the
meeting. The stores are located closest to the Mount Albert agency store, which
orders its product through store #226 in Newmarket. The Mount Albert agency
store is one of the largest in Ontario with more than $3 million in annual
sales. Sobeys earns more than $300,000 in commissions – profit that goes back to
corporate headquarters in Nova Scotia.
“I’m really pleased that we have strong support for the campaign
from our members who live closest to Mount Albert and, in the case of store
#226, actually do the work to supply product to this privately-owned and
operated agency store,” said Laurie Miller, chair of LBED’s ‘Keep it Public”
There were several questions about the future of the grocery
store if the inside agency kiosk was removed from Foodland. Under LBED’s plan,
the real LCBO will be built adjacent to the Foodland store on property already
owned by Sobeys.
Russ Christianson, LBED’s financial consultant on the Mount
Albert campaign, said a stand-alone LCBO store is a destination stop for
consumers and a strong complement to a grocery store. Therefore Foodland stands
to gain even more shoppers, he told members at the meeting.
LBED membes who live in Newmarket, Aurora and elsewhere in York
region are invited to attend a special public meeting to discuss the campaign on
Tuesday Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m., at the Mount Albert Community Centre.
Two out of three Mount Albert residents want a real LCBO store
In September 2008, a public opinion poll determined that two out
of three Mount Albert residents (over 19 years of age) want a publicly owned
LCBO store to replace the Sobeys’ agency kiosk.
Why? Because a real LCBO store offers better selection and
service, and brings economic benefits to the community and the province.
The agency kiosk in Sobeys’ Foodland has revenues of more than
$3 million a year. This is similar to the amount earned by many real LCBO
stores. Sobeys receives more than $300,000 a year in commission from these
Sobeys operates its agency store on a five-year contract with
the LCBO. When this contract expires in November 2009, a real LCBO store could
“As a provincial government enterprise, LCBO’s primary
stakeholders are the people of Ontario.”
- LCBO Strategic Plan
why Mount Albert should have a real LCBO store
selection will more than double
A real LCBO
store will be staffed by professional customer service staff
The LCBO will invest more than $500,000 in the store
East Gwillimbury will receive increased property taxes
economic multiplier from a real LCBO store in Mount Albert is estimated at one
million dollars annually
people of Ontario will fully benefit from the sales at the real LCBO store
responsibility is a top priority for the LCBO
majority of Mount Albert residents and Ontario citizens, the Liquor Board
Employees (members of OPSEU, The Ontario Public Service Employees Union)
strongly support maintaining the public sale and distribution of alcohol in
LBED Executive Contacts
LBED Chair, Local 165, Stratford
LBED Vice-Chair/ Local 378, Durham Warehouse, Whitby -
LBED Secretary-Treasurer, Local 285, New Hamburg
Chair, Benefits & Pension Committee, Local 376, Barrie
Chair, Health & Safety Committee, Local 377, Oshawa
Chair, Education & Communication Committee, Local 5107, Toronto -