BCGEU Strike Impacts Already Struggling Surrey Events, Wedding & Restaurant Industries

The BC General Employees Union (BCGEU) and the BC Government are returning to the bargaining table following job action that began on August 15, but a resolution may not be achieved unless both parties are committed to ending job action.

“The BCGEU job action has already had a drastic impact on the hospitality sector across BC,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “Surrey’s restaurants and hospitality businesses like event venues, which were compromised by COVID-19 lockdowns, supply chain issues, and staffing shortages, are now facing added challenges due to the strikes at Liquor Distribution Branches. The events and wedding industry, for example, in Surrey will be negatively affected if this job action continues.”

The impacts of BCGEU job action on tourism and hospitality businesses include:

•      Strike action outside key Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) warehouses cuts off access to inventory for close to 20,000 BC businesses, including hospitality, liquor, tourism, accommodation, and cannabis retail businesses.

•      Licensees and retailers cannot pick up orders already placed, and cannot order more inventory during the job action.

•      Province-wide shortages of imported alcohol, spirits, and ready-to-drink cans have already begun.

•      Businesses across the sector will be forced to start reducing hours, days of operation, and staffing, causing further impact to the workforce.

•      Shortages and closures create business uncertainty — events and promotions may be cancelled.

•      It sends a message of instability to current and future staff, impairing recruitment and retention.

•      The BC LDB will likely take weeks to replenish stock, making some items unavailable long after the strike ends.

The Surrey Board of Trade is a part of an industry collective that represents the province’s hospitality, tourism, liquor and cannabis industries across BC. Through this collective, we are calling on the BC Government and BCGEU to put the interests of British Columbia businesses and workers first and resolve your differences quickly to prevent further losses and impacts to the hospitality and tourism sector.

Collective members include:

Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC)

BC Craft Brewers Guild

BC Craft Ciders

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Beer Canada

British Columbia Hotel Association

Craft Distiller’s Guild of BC

Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

IVSA Import Vintners & Spirits Association

New Wave Wine Society

Restaurants Canada

Rural Liquor Store Advisor Society

Spirits Canada

Surrey Board of Trade

Tourism Industry Association of BC

Vancouver Hotel Association

Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Wine Growers British Columbia


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,