As retail employees, BC Liquor Store members (BCGEU Component 5 - Retail Stores and Warehouse) interact with the public on a daily basis, and unlike other businesses, BC Liquor Stores have seen very little reduction in customers and sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the seriousness of the pandemic became clear in early March, Component 5 members realized that they needed additional protection to keep themselves and their customers safe: stores were overcrowded, staff at registers were not able to socially distance from customers, and stores were still dealing with large volumes of empty containers for recycling -- a major contamination concern.
Through their component and joint labour-management committee, they made it clear to their employer that they needed not only personal protections, but that the stores needed to make changes to the way they did business.
Through a series of meetings with management in which members highlighted the need for physical and policy protection, they received the support they needed:
- March 19 - the BCLS announces that the returns of empty beverage containers would be suspended until further notice
March 24 - the BCLS commits to:
- installing plexiglass at registers (also in BC Cannabis Stores)
- installing decals on floors and other signage to encourage social distancing
- limiting the number of customers in stores at one time
- shortening hours of operation
- discontinuing reusable bags
- and more
By standing together, Component 5 members were able to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 between themselves and the general public.
here we go!
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