Campbellville, Ont. – Attention all UFCW Canada activists and allies: UFCW Canada Local 12R24 members need your support, in the face of an Ontario government proposal to undermine The Beer Store and the good union jobs of more than 7,000 UFCW members who work there.
Premier Doug Ford wants to dismantle Ontario’s current alcohol retail system by shifting sales away from The Beer Store and into convenience, big box, and other outlets. These changes could lead to major job losses and higher beer prices for consumers. They would also threaten one of the world’s most successful recycling programs and potentially cost Ontario taxpayers millions of dollars.
The government’s plan puts good, unionized jobs at The Beer Store and the families and communities they support at risk and will not create good jobs to replace them. The statistics show that when beer was added to Ontario grocery stores it did not create extra jobs or more beer sales in the province.
The government’s plan could also mean higher beer prices for consumers. Alberta, for example, privatized its alcohol retail system in the 1990s and now has some of the highest beer prices in Canada. In fact, a 24-pack of beer from a private liquor store in Alberta can cost over $10 more than the same brand at The Beer Store.
The government’s alcohol plan would also put one of the world’s most successful recycling programs at risk. Over the years, Beer Store employees have recovered over 75 billion beer bottles, cans, and other recyclable materials. This has resulted in 94 percent of all Beer Store sales being returned or recycled and has produced massive energy savings for the province.
The proposal could also directly cost Ontario taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars because the Government of Ontario reached an agreement in 2015 on the number and type of outlets that can sell beer in Ontario. Experts agree that if the Ford government were to abandon its responsibilities under this agreement, the province could be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties.
The evidence is clear: expanding beer sales to convenience, big box, and other retail outlets would result in major job losses, higher beer prices for consumers, the end to a vital recycling system, and massive costs to Ontario taxpayers. It’s time to say “NO!” to Doug Ford’s irresponsible, job-killing plan for beer sales. Sign our petition to support good union jobs at The Beer Store.