( BCGEU job action. James Coccola)

The ongoing BCGEU job action at BC Liquor Distribution Centres across the province is forcing government-run liquor stores to limit their sales.

The BC Alliance of Beverage Licensees, or ABLE BC, an organization that represents British Columbia’s private liquor stores says the province has imposed limits on alcohol sales at government-run outlets in response to job action affecting several liquor distribution outlets.

This means bars, restaurants and individuals will only be permitted to buy a certain quantity of alcohol.

Purchases will be limited to no more than three of any individual item (or SKU) per day, effective immediately and until further notice.

“Restrictions will apply to all products—except beer—and will remain in place until the LDB distribution centres resume operations,” said ABLE BC in a statement.

BC’s Liquor Distribution Branch confirmed the limits and said they’re “conscious of growing supply constraints and want to do what we can to ensure equal access to product for all customers during job action.”

ABLE BC Executive Director Jeff Guignard called the situation “insane.”

“This is insane. The only reason BC Liquor Stores are rationing quantities is because of the BCGEU strike, which is shutting down BC’s vital liquor distribution warehouses,” he said.

The BCGEU first handed the province 72 hours’ strike notice last Friday after months of bargaining. Picketing began Monday afternoon at four BCL distribution centres across BC, including one in Victoria.

The 33,000 members of the BC General Employees Union are calling onwage protection against inflation in their latest contract proposal.

Guinard said the limits will have a major impact on the food and beverage industry.

“This is deeply frustrating for the pubs and restaurants still struggling to recover from the financial damage of the pandemic.”

Private liquor stores won’t be introducing limits.

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