How did we get here?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, workers at the stores and warehouses of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB), who were declared essential by government, have been safely serving the public and generating record revenues for the province despite slow introduction of prevention measures like plexiglass barriers, physical distancing and sanitization, and zero financial acknowledgement for the impact these working conditions have had on their physical and mental health.
Unlike other essential workers, BCLDB workers were excluded from the province’s Temporary Pandemic Pay program announced in May 2020. Since then, workers have been asking for clarity: Will they receive essential pay for their government-deemed essential work?
How you can help:
For over a year, workers have watched their employer and government finger-point to each other about who has authority to provide essential pay. This is hypocritical and infuriating. As the minister who oversees the BCLDB, Finance Minister Selina Robinson has the power to answer.
Actions we're taking to amplify your email to Minister Robinson:
Social media – Using #essentialBCLDB on Twitter, workers are sharing their experiences serving the public during the pandemic and how it feels to be declared essential but not treated essential.
Town hall solidarity – After a year without response from either their employer or government, 600 workers asked BCLDB General Manager and CEO at an employee town hall in March 2021 if the BCLDB would provide workers directly with essential pay. Lawson claimed that it is government, not him, that has the power to authorize that decision.
Leafleting – Still without concrete assurance of essential pay, workers are providing information about the campaign to the public outside select BCLDB stores across the province throughout May 2021.