Monday, February 27, 2006

Privatized Booze Costs More

The Union for Liqour Board workers in Quebec has issued a study of privatized versus crown owned liquour stores. Not surprisingly it shows that in Alberta we pay more, have less selection, have lower wages for workers, and higher profits for owners. In fact the owners have created a tax free income trust to hide their profits. It is one of the most succesful Income Trusts in Canada. Liquor Stores Income Fund Announces $32.4 Million Issuance of Trust Units and $16.7 Million Secondary OfferingThanks to Ralph.

Union calls for deeper probe of SAQ

Between 1992, the first year of privatization, and 2004, Alberta alcohol prices increased by 39 per cent vs. 21 per cent in Quebec and 27 per cent in Ontario, Carbonneau said. Hourly wages of liquor store employees, meanwhile, dropped by 36 per cent.

When the union itself compared the prices of 45 randomly chosen wines and spirits at the SAQ, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and a high-end liquor store in Calgary whose selection and quality matched that of the SAQ, it found many prices were highest at the privately run store.

While the mushrooming of new stores after privatization, from 310 to 1,087, brought some savings, price, quality, selection and knowledge of staff vary widely, the union said. Even though the overall number of products might be greater (12,000 vs. about 7,000 in Quebec), there is no guarantee consumers will find them on the shelves of their local liquor store, which, on average, carries 200 to 300 products vs. 1,000 at an SAQ outlet.

Liquor Stores sips on growth cocktail

Alberta trust on hunt for outlets in fragmented market

It's a familiar story -- an Alberta business that's growing rapidly, looking for acquisitions wherever it can and boosting distributions ahead of schedule.

The only thing that's missing is oil.

Since its inception in late 2004, Edmonton-based Liquor Stores Income Fund has proven that Alberta is a pretty good place for booze retailing, too. With a strong balance sheet and a record of quick growth, the income trust -- a product of the marriage of two liquor store companies -- is still hungry. And in a highly fragmented Alberta liquor store market, it's moving aggressively to position itself atop the consolidation mountain.

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Michael Fox said...

LCBO employees are heavily overpaid.

By paying them above fair market wages, the government is essentially giving them a welfare supplement.


Opps there we go again what the hell is a fair market in wages? You mean only capitalists have the Right To Be Greedy, oh dear shaemless plug for a great article, that is to make huge profits? Which is of course a welfare supplement since the folks that produce that surplus is the workers. Since Labour produces all wealth, all wealth belogng s to labour... See my It's the Labour Theory of Value, Stupid...plug plug... If we used your logic TT than capitalism is welfare for the rich. Opps it is. Since they rip off their wealth from the profits made for them by workers. In the case of booze workers this is especially true. Since the booze they sell is marked up to include their wages whether they are paid them or not.