Union protesters took MLA Rich Coleman's appearance in Langley Tuesday as an opportunity to drum up support for their fight over liquor distribution.
The BCGEU set up in the public square near Cascades Casino to gather signatures for their petition to stop the sale of the Liquor Distribution Branch.
Coleman, MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove, is the minister in charge of alcohol and gaming, among other responsibilities.
BCGEU spokesperson Evan Stewart said the union is trying to raise awareness of the privatization.
"We'd like to see a business case that explains how it's better for the province," Stewart said, noting that the LDB brought in $890 million in revenue last year.
About 600 people work for the LDB, in two warehouses in Vancouver and Kamloops, and moving the liquor around the province.
Inside the meeting, Coleman was asked about the privatization and insisted there is a business case for selling the distribution system.
The aging warehouse system needs to be rebuilt, and that would cost $50-$80 million, Coleman said.
The government could take on that cost, or go to the private sector, he said.
A request for proposals to take over the service closes on June 30, and if the bidders can't provide savings, the government won't do the deal, Coleman said. He added that keeping the union in place is part of the privatization deal.
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