OPSEU urges LCBO to adopt stronger anti-theft practices in Halton
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is demanding the LCBO implement in-house security to combat theft.
Warren Thomas, OPSEU president, has been studying the problem and believes the LCBO needs to begin taking more concrete steps to combat the problem.
“We need a lot less talk from the LCBO and a little more action,” Thomas said in a news release.
“Safety should be job one for management, end of story,” he continued.
According to the LCBO, annual losses from theft amount to less than $6 million. However, Thomas claims this number is inaccurate, but adds getting into a war over numbers is a waste of time.
“We can go back and forth all day long about the dollar cost of the theft problem, but the bottom line is it’s in the millions of dollars and that is not acceptable to the shareholders, the people of Ontario,” he said.
Workers employed by the LCBO are represented by OPSEU, and the union has been pleading with the Crown corporation to take theft more seriously due to the fact it can impact both employees and consumers.
“We were glad the LCBO brought in off-duty uniformed police officers to monitor some stores, but that was a Band-Aid solution,” Thomas said.
“What we need is trained in-house security whose only focus is to prevent theft at our LCBO outlets,” he added.
Thomas points out that thousands of dollars worth of alcohol is stolen every day just in Toronto, and there have been more than 9,000 instances of theft in Toronto alone over the last four-and-a-half years.
Further, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer, Eduardo Almeida, suggests, given the current theft problem facing the LCBO, expanding alcohol sales to corner stores is a bad idea.
“The theft problem in LCBO shows that selling alcohol in corner stores is just begging for trouble,” Almeida said in the same press release.
“Employees in corner stores don’t have the same level of training as LCBO staff. They are often young precarious workers working alone, sometimes in remote locations. Unless the premier does a walk back on this ill-advised gift to his lobbyist pals, someone is going to get hurt by aggressive thieves,” he added.