Government agrees to hold summit re retail thefts
MGEU Liquor Workers Lobby Government
Nov 29, 2019
Yesterday, MGEU stewards and safety and health representatives who work in liquor marts across the province, met with MLA’s from all three political parties yesterday during a lobby day highlighting an increase in violent brazen thefts in their workplace. These activists were able to share personal experiences about anxiety, stress and fear in the workplace and felt that they were finally given the opportunity to have their voices heard by government.
Earlier in the day the government called a news conference to announce Operation Safe Streets to deal with liquor store thefts and retail thefts in general. They released few details, except to say that it would involve input from government, various police forces and Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL).
“We are cautiously optimistic that the government understands that these issues require immediate attention and hope that the announcement of Operation Safe Streets will bring about meaningful change,” said Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President.
Later that day, during a meeting with Minister Cliff Cullen and Minister Jeff Wharton, a commitment was made to host a summit that the MGEU has been calling for – where key players from all levels of government, law enforcement, addictions and social services, public and private retailers, and unions gather to discuss and find solutions to address the broader social problems that are the driving force behind this crisis.
“We also need to make sure appropriate and immediate measures are put in place to protect members and the public, said Gawronsky. There have to consequences for the thieves, and we must address the broader social problems that are the driving force behind this crisis.”
In the meantime, the MGEU will continue to advocate for the safety of retail workers and the public in the media and with employers, and continue to apply pressure on the government at every opportunity.
“I know that we are not going to be able to solve this problem until we have everyone at the table at the same time,” Gawronsky said. And that must include workers and their unions – their input is vital to this process.”