BURNABY, BC, Oct. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - The B.C. Government and Services Employees' Union is urging the provincial government to immediately halt plans for the sale of B.C. wine, cider and sake in grocery stores for six months.
The request is contained in a letter sent this week to B.C. Premier Christy Clark from BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.
In the letter, the union, which represents nearly 4,000 employees of the Liquor Distribution Branch, outlines numerous concerns about the privatization of liquor sales.
- Alcohol sales to minors. The BCGEU worries grocery store employees will lack the same level of social responsibility training as BC Liquor Store employees. Alcohol sales may be only a small part of the job in a grocery store. Employees may not be experienced about rules around the legal drinking age, ID and how to identify false ID.
- We suspect it may be easier for youth to shoplift alcohol from a large grocery store than from a BC Liquor Store.
- The BCGEU is concerned alcohol sales may eventually expand beyond wine, cider and sake. Additionally, the "B.C.-only" model may violate international trade obligations.
"The loss of public revenue from reduced sales at BC Liquor Stores is also worrying. Those revenues pay for health, social services, education and other public services. We'll be very disappointed if privatization goes ahead as we've made a very strong case for keeping liquor sales public," said Smith.
The BCGEU is pressing the government to use the six-month moratorium period to consider whether the privatization of liquor sales is in the best interests of British Columbians.
To read Smith's letter, go to: bcgeu.ca/bcgeu-calls-moratorium-sale-bc-wine-cider-and-sake
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information: To arrange an interview with Stephanie Smith, please call Karen Tankard, BCGEU Communications, at 604-473-5454.