Communication taken from ABLE BC.
As you are already aware, due to BCGEU strike action the LDB has temporarily shut down its distribution centres and Wholesale Customer Centre. This means that BC's liquor and cannabis businesses will not receive any products from the LDB until the strike action is over. As a reminder, the job action at distribution centres and the WCC will not impact ordering from BDL or local producers offering direct delivery. Both BDL and our BC-based producers stand ready to accept your orders.
As the strike is only 24 hours old and we do not know how long it will last, there are still many questions that we are working hard to answer.
We are in daily talks with government to discuss contingencies. We will bring you further updates as we have them.
Please continue to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and to let us know how the strike is impacting your business.
Here are the questions we have received from members so far. We will continue to share updates as they are available to us.
Can I still place an order while the strike continues?
You can place an order on webstore only. Webstore orders will be picked and shipped when the strike is over. We do not know how long the strike will last or how long it will take to catch up on orders placed during the strike. We are working to find clarity on how orders placed during the strike will be prioritized when the job action is over.
Emailed orders will not be entered and should be resubmitted when the strike is over.
Can LDB warehouse workers be deemed an essential service so we can receive our orders?
During the pandemic, government used extraordinary emergency powers and the COVID-19 Related Measures Act to declare a long list of essential services, including private liquor stores and liquor distribution. Those orders, and that legislation, have since expired.
To declare liquor distribution an essential service now would require either new legislation or a ruling from the Labour Relations Board, which can designate services as essential (and/or set minimum staffing levels) in response to a labour dispute.
Given that the strike has only been one day so far, both of these options are unlikely at this time. If the strike continues for an extended time and causes quantifiable economic damage, this will become a more likely option.
We will continue discussing this option with government.
Can BDL deliver RTD products? Can a local RTD producer direct deliver their own RTD products?
No. As you are aware, the only option for ordering RTD products is through the LDB, meaning there is no possibility of re-stocking these high-demand products until the strike ends.
RTDs will not be delivered through BDL or direct delivery at this time. Helping you restock RTDs is one of our highest priorities and we are asking for special permission to allow other delivery options.
Can an LRS purchase from a BC Liquor Store?
No. The LRS Terms and Conditions states: “You may only purchase liquor as a licensee for the purpose of selling and/or serving it under your licence. You must purchase your liquor directly from the Liquor Distribution Branch warehouse, from a designated Liquor Distribution Branch store, or another source authorized in writing by the general manager of the Liquor Distribution Branch.” The key part being the BC Liquor Store would have to be “designated,” which is the exception not the rule.
Given that BC Liquor Stores have also had their supply from LDB Wholesale cut off, you should not expect government to permit LRSs to purchase from government stores at this time.
Will the strike force government to allow licensee-to-licensee sales?
We are in talks with government every day and exploring every possible contingency plan. However, government recently declined to move forward with licensee-to-licencee sales, so it is unlikely this will change now.
Additionally, private liquor stores will start to see depleted inventory levels by the end of this week. If licensee-to-licensee sales are allowed, there will be extremely limited inventory available for LPs and FPs to purchase.
Will industry be compensated for loss of business due to strike action?
Given that the strike is just 24 hours old, government is not currently considering compensation for affected businesses. Before we can seek compensation, we will need to gather evidence that the strike has caused financial harm to your business. As the strike continues, please email email@example.com to let us know the financial impact of the strike on your businesses.
Did government stores have advance notice of the strike?
Despite rumours, we’ve seen no evidence that BC Liquor Stores were given advance notice to stock up on products. Like the private industry, government stores were aware of the possibility of a strike and in some cases chose to stock up on inventory.
However, if you have evidence of this happening, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can we pick up our own order from an LDB warehouse?
No, licensees will not be permitted to pick up their own orders. With the Distribution Centres closed, there are no workers to pick and assemble orders and licensees do not have proper safety training or equipment to pick products from distribution centre shelves.