Cascadia Liquor strike ends after 43 days: union

Cascadia Liquor strike ends after 43 days: union
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A striking worker in front of the Quadra Cascadia Liquor store on June 13, 2024.

The strike at Cascadia Liquor has ended after the union and employer have reached a tentative agreement, SEIU Local 2 said in a news release.

The workers at the liquor store chain have been on strike for 43 days. Within that time, Cascadia Liquor was found by the BC Labour Board to have illegally replaced striking workers at three of its stores.

Now, the union says a tentative agreement has been reached and is calling off the strike and boycott.

“After 43 days of walking the picket line, Cascadia Liquor workers have won their first union contract,” the union’s website says. “The three-year contract includes significant wage increases, wage premiums for specialized positions, health and dental benefits, and other improvements.”

Workers at the Quadra, Eagle Creek and Colwood locations filed for certification throughout 2023, then the Uptown location applied to unionize during the strike on June 13.

Keith Barbon, CEO of Cascadia Liquor, says he is pleased an agreement was reached with three of the 12 locations.

“At Cascadia Liquor, one of our top priorities is to maintain a fair and respectful workplace for all our team members,” Barbon said. “We have achieved a fair and competitive agreement that strikes a balance between the needs of all our team members and our ability to continue to run our locally owned businesses.”

SEIU Local 2 says this agreement covers 70 workers at the four stores, but the Uptown location is still waiting for certification from the Labour Board.

The union says the new contract comes with a 7.6 per cent increase from the starting wage, meaning most workers wages will be going up to $20.08 or $20.87 per hour.

In addition to wage increases, the collective agreement includes pay premiums for first aid trained workers, limiting probation to 90 days, paid bereavement leave and a 100 per cent employer-paid extended health and dental benefit plan.

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