BCGEU finished their day of action at Library Square at about 1.45 p.m. BCGEU is planning days of action around the province. See BCGEU Bargaining for up-to-date information of the provincial workers concerns.
The BCGEU has begun an introductory round of strike action to bring awareness of their issues. See BCGEU Days of Action. Today, at Library Square, about thirty BCGEU members directly picketed their internal entrance by their staff elevator and their entrance in the underground parking lot.
CUPE 391 clearly signalled that they would not cross another union’s picket line. BCGEU, in turn, did not wish to picket out Library Square and confined their action to their own entrances and short half block walks on Homer and Georgia Street. BCGEU said that job action will be escalating as their strike progresses.
Major Issue – Liquor Distribution Board – LBD
The provincial government announced in the February 2012 budget that it is privatising the LDB distribution system and selling-off of its warehouses. The LDB stores are certain to be sold next.
In the last five years, the liquor distribution and retail system contributed a net income of $4.3 billion to help pay for public services such as health, education and highways. That is a lot of annual funding for our public infrastructure that will be disappearing into private pockets.
In his review of government operations in Ontario, Don Drummond, former Chief Economist with the TD Bank, rejected the sell-off of the pubic Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Instead he called for the opening of additional public liquor stores and the full utilization of the LCBO’s purchasing power to improve profits and create additional government revenue. The same approach should be taken in B.C.
CUPE and BCGEU share several work sites and sectoral designations. Future, escalated job actions are to be expected. We will keep you informed.