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BCGEU to go back to negotiating table with province

Both parties have agreed to a media blackout and no further comment will be made
Photo: Lauren Collins Officers from Surrey Pretrial Services Centre rallied outside of the centre on Friday (March 8) about the “unmanageable levels” of inmate-to-officer ratios at B.C. prisons.

The BC General Employees Union said it has accepted an offer to return to negotiations with the province.

READ MORE: BCGEU bans overtime work by members as job action intensifies

In a news release, BCGEU said the Public Service Agency invited them back to negotiations late Monday night (Aug. 22).

“This is a significant development, and it is the direct result of the pressure BCGEU members have applied, which includes the current job action and shows solidarity from BCGEU members and allies,” the union said.

Both parties have agreed to a media blackout and no further comment will be made.

While negotiations are set to resume, job action will continue until further notice.

Union members are currently on strike at multiple liquor distribution warehouses, which has led to rationing of alcohol at government-run stores.

The limit on alcohol purchases is also having a negative effect on pubs, bars and restaurants as they can only purchase their liquor through the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

Cannabis stores will also be impacted as the warehouses are also responsible for cannabis products. Cannabis stores in B.C. can only source their product from the Liquor Distribution Branch.

READ MORE: Industry fears shortages at cannabis, liquor stores amid strike at B.C. distribution centres

Union members have also been banned from working overtime. The ban is in place for a majority of the 33,000 members, however, emergency services and BC Wildfire personnel are exempt.

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