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It could take months to recover from BCGEU strike, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce CEO warns

As long as two months after a settlement is reached, according to one estimate
Cory Redekop, CEO Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, has warned the provincial government the BCGEU strike could create problems long after a settlement is reached. (File)

Cory Redekop, CEO Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, has warned the job action at the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) by the BCGEU could still have an impact, months after a settlement is reached.

“The longer this job action persists the longer it will take for the distribution network to resume normal operations,” Redekop said in letters sent to the provincial minister of finance, deputy minister and Langley MLAs.

He advised one affected Langley business has estimated it could take “upwards of two months for the supply chain to recover from this job action as the LDB will have difficulty managing the backlog of orders when it reopens.”

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

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

Redekop said he has personally been in contact with a number of Langley businesses which are already reporting key products being out of stock and having to turn down orders for lack of product.

“This situation will only get worse the longer this job action persists and as liquor, cannabis and hospitality businesses miss additional orders and shipments,” Redekop said.

“In addition, we have begun hearing of businesses planning for possibly reducing hours and cutting shifts as a result of this issue, meaning this job action will soon start hurting the livelihoods of other workers.”

The letter, sent before negotiations resumed, suggested picket lines should come down before talks are held.

READ ALSO: BCGEU to go back to negotiating table with province

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

Talks were set to resume under a media blackout, but job action was to continue until further notice.

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