The British Columbia General Employees’ Union says it will set up picket lines at four BC Liquor Distribution Branch wholesale and distribution centres as it begins targeted job action. Strikers are seen in downtown Vancouver during a strike of British Columbia government workers Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The British Columbia General Employees’ Union says it will set up picket lines at four BC Liquor Distribution Branch wholesale and distribution centres as it begins targeted job action. Strikers are seen in downtown Vancouver during a strike of British Columbia government workers Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Targeted job action, picket lines planned by B.C. public-service union as strike notice expires

The contract between the BCGEU and the Public Service Agency expired April 1

The British Columbia General Employees’ Union says it will set up picket lines at four BC Liquor Distribution Branch wholesale and distribution centres as it begins targeted job action.

The union, which represents about 33,000 public-service workers across B.C., issued strike notice Friday and is to be in a legal strike position by this afternoon.

It says picket lines will go up at 3:30 p.m., outside liquor distribution centres in Delta, Richmond and Kamloops, as well as the wholesale customer centre in Victoria.

A statement from the union says retail liquor and cannabis stores are not part of this job action, but the cannabis division of the Burnaby customer care centre is included, although a picket line won’t be set up there.

The contract between the BCGEU and the Public Service Agency expired April 1 and there have been sporadic talks since April 6, but the union rejected an invitation from the agency for another meeting last week, saying it would “not be fruitful.”

Union president Stephanie Smith has said wage protection is the top concern of her members as inflation climbs dramatically.

The Canadian Press

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