BC Liquor Distribution Branch’s (LDB) cannabis and liquor distribution centre resumed operations on August 31 after being closed for 2 ½ weeks causing many cannabis retailers to close their doors due to a lack of supply.
Following a return to the bargaining table, the BCGEU’s Public Service Bargaining Committee has taken down the picket lines at the LDB distribution centres as a sign of good faith. The union states they have made significant progress and is “hoping to finalize a tentative agreement.”
In an email sent to customers, the LDB says, “We greatly appreciate your continued patience and understanding while LDB Wholesale works to resume operations. It will take a considerable amount of time for service levels to return to normal. We are working closely with our carriers and industry partners to allocate additional resources to support a smooth and expedited resumption of operations. To allow for the most efficient return to standard service, the distribution centres will focus first on shipping the outstanding orders currently assembled in the distribution centre and fulfilling customer orders that were received prior to job action. We aim to start shipping these outstanding orders on Wednesday, August 31 and customers will be notified by email when their order ships from the distribution centre.”
Stores may be receiving deliveries outside of their normal delivery windows and the LDB has asked that retailers be flexible to accommodate these changes and to be patient while waiting for their orders.
Important notices will be posted on the LDB Wholesale Operations website at www.wholesale.bcldb.com.
This strike has shown the vulnerability of the cannabis and liquor distribution system in British Columbia and industry associations and customers will be putting more pressure on the government to diversify or privatize the distribution system.