As you know, the Provincial Health Officer issued an order on November 19 requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public and retail spaces by both staff and customers. The next day, November 20, the employer issued a directive to continue serving customers who are not wearing masks.
Our union heard the confusion this directive caused and raised your concerns with the BC Public Service Agency (PSA), which oversees the employer, to ensure that your safety is prioritized and that members have the clarity to act in compliance with this new public health order.
As a result, the employer issued a communication this morning, November 25, clarifying the protocol that all BCLDB and BCCC worksites are to follow in implementing the new mask mandate. You can read that protocol below my signature.
If you face any issues with implementing this protocol, contact your steward and your Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) member rep, and consider following the process to enact your right and responsibility to refuse unsafe work. Please also continue making each other and our union aware of your health and safety concerns.
I want to acknowledge that refusing service to a customer is never easy. The same training and support you receive to deny service to an inebriated or underage customer should extend to refusing service to customers who do not wear a mask. Please notify our union if you are not receiving this training and support.
We are pleased with the provincial government taking the health and safety of British Columbians seriously and standing behind Dr. Henry's mandate. I also want to thank Premier Horgan for acknowledging the need for masks in retails spaces and our experience keeping ourselves and the public safe.
Finally, and most of all, I want to thank you for continuing to provide exceptional service to the public. Please be assured, the BCGEU stands with you throughout this pandemic, and we will forcefully defend your right to a safe workplace.
Take care and stay safe.
Vice President, Component 5 (Retail Stores and Warehouses)
Download PDF of BCLDB's November 25, 2020 communication signed by Michael Procopio, Executive Director, Retail Operations
Download PDF of BCCC's November 25, 2020 communication signed by Kevin Satterfield, Director Retail Operations, Cannabis Operations
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