Strike begins at 3 Cascadia liquor stores on Vancouver Island

Strike begins at 3 Cascadia liquor stores on Vancouver Island
A strike is pictured outside the Cascadia Liquor store in Quadra Village on May 4, 2024.

The picket lines have gone up outside three Cascadia liquor stores in Greater Victoria on Saturday, following months of negotiations.

Workers with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2 held a rally outside the Cascadia Liquor in Quadra Village at noon, saying wages were the group’s top concern.

The union says most Cascadia Liquor workers make between $18 and $19 per hour, which isn’t enough to live on in Victoria, and add that Cascadia turned down its most recent offer on Tuesday ahead of the strike.

“The reason we’re fighting is because my workers don’t have enough to live,” said Oscar Towert with the SEIU.

“I’ve seen so many full-time employees leave to other provinces because they can’t afford to live in Victoria anymore,” he said. “I hear people say, ‘Well if you don’t like that job just move on.’ Why would we do that we can fight to make our job better?”

On Saturday, Cascadia Liquor told CHEK News in a statement that it remains “committed to working with the SEIU to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.”

It adds that it offered to submit the two groups’ outstanding issues to a neutral arbitrator, that would be appointed by the BC Labour Relations Board, but that the union rejected that offer.

“We respect the right of our team members to make their voices heard and while we cannot speculate on what will happen moving forward, we have let our team members know that we are eager to resume bargaining and remain hopeful that we will be back at the bargaining table soon,” said Cascadia.

Cascadia Liquor has 12 stores on Vancouver Island, and even though strikes are ongoing, all 12 locations remain open.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!