“When the pandemic started, it felt like Christmas here,” says Quentin Rowe-Codner, who has worked as an employee in the store for nearly two years. The company gave an explanation in response to the Maple Ridge employees travel union store that it offers employees a “competitive overall compensation package, including dental and medical services with 100% bonuses for employees who work more than 24 hours a week.” Employees of a private B.C. spirits company hope that they have successfully voted on the formation of unions in other locations as they prepare to negotiate a collective agreement with their employer for the first time. Since then, liquor stores have implemented a number of security protocols, including limiting the number of customers in the store and Plexiglas shields for cashiers. READ MORE: Liquor stores throughout B.C. are seeing record sales during the coronavirus pandemic “These businesses were operating, whether it was a grocery store, a liquor store, the list continued,” said Hassan Yussuf. Of course, many of these workers have had to face reality, which they have paid for, despite the risk of getting to the front. “Any other front-line worker major in the public service receives a 16-week package that you have to thank for in terms of wages. We know that there are private liquor stores that offer pay increases to their employees,” said Stephanie Smith, President of the B.C Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU).
They say that while profits from liquor stores increased during the pandemic, it has not been improved in conditions for essential workers, such as those who work in stores, although business has been better than ever. Smith says that employees of liquor stores were among the first to be declared essential and have since worked on Christmas sales in BC Liquor stores. One plan, Workers in B.C. Rowe-Codner`s Liquor Stores, which earns about $15 an hour in the store, says employee complaints involved low wages and inconsistent schedules. Last week, 75 per cent of employees at Jak`s Beer Wine and Spirits Store in Maple Ridge voted to form a union under the auspices of the Service Employees International Union Local. Each box contained four pieces of chocolate, including two caramel with truffles or cream chocolate and a thank you card. The request was released on Tuesday, about two weeks after the province announced a pandemic premium of $4 per hour for health, social services and corrections workers.