The head of the union representing workers at the LCBO calls it a crisis, and he asks the Ford government to suspend plans to expand the sale of alcohol to corner stores.
The warning comes after a message from Toronto Star, which states that from January 2014 to June 2018, the LCBO was the target of thieves more than 9,000 times, resulting in thousands of dollars in losses.
Earlier this month, Toronto police arrested two people and was looking for 10 more people in connection with an organized ring for a series of thefts from wine shops, which are believed to have amounted to more than $ 200,000.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says that recent media coverage of shoplifting should make the government think twice about alcohol sales in grocery stores and local stores.
“Alcohol will always attract the attention of thieves and the underground economy. This is a product that sells easily on the black market, ”said Thomas.
A former employee who wished to remain anonymous said that communicating with shoplifters is a common reality for LCBO employees.
“You can't stop them. You can't stop them, ”he tells CityNews.
“They will find a way to hide somewhere from alcohol in the amount of 500 to 1000 dollars, and they are unlikely to get into one store. We only knew that this would happen because another store called us and said that they had just been hit, and the thieves were meeting us. ”
Thomas says the situation has reached a crisis level, adding that they have expressed concern about the mental and physical well-being of employees as a result of these thefts for some time.
“No one should go to work, wondering if they could be in danger because of a $ 15 bottle of vodka,” said Thomas, adding that he wants to talk to Prime Minister Doug Ford about the action plan.
“We would like the LCBO to create its own security forces. And the training will depend on the experience of the LCBO in retail so that they can preserve this experience, improve it and, we hope, prevent theft and ensure the safety of people. ”
In a statement to CityNews, the LCBO stated that it “took appropriate steps to prevent shoplifting through security investment and anti-theft tactics. We have increased our expenses for security and investigators, as well as video surveillance technology, deterrents in the store and always cooperate with the local police in conducting active investigations. ”