Unionizing puts power in our hands

Liquor Store Workers join SEIU. Motivated to join by the recent wave of organizing. “Most of us struggle with paying for food and rent.”

Share Post:

Employees at Liquor for Less, a private liquor store in Langley, BC, have joined SEIU.  It was made official after a hearing at the BC Labour Relations Board on Friday May 26, 2023. 

“Unionizing puts power in our hands to fight to get what we are owed,” said Sam Psajd, a working-supervisor at the Langley location. “Most of us struggle with paying for food and rent.”

Workers were motivated to join SEIU by the recent wave of private sector liquor store organizing that has been happening across the province. They reached out to the Union and were on their way.

“Organizing is challenging” added Sam. “It was challenging to meet to talk outside of work. We’re all either tired from being overworked at our store, or don’t make enough to only survive on one job.”

The working conditions at Liquor for Less are similar to what workers have been experiencing at numerous other liquor stores across Metro-Vancouver, on Vancouver Island and in BC’s interior. It has resulted in workers stepping up to empower themselves by organizing a Union then negotiating for positive changes at work. 

“At least for me, I want to help take care of my co-workers,” said Sam. “I want them not to have to worry about being homeless or going hungry. I don’t want any of us to spend all our energy at work and be unable to pursue the things we want in our free time.”

Liquor for Less is a chain of private liquor stores operated by the Paul Esposito Restaurant (Abbotsford) Ltd group in the Fraser Valley area. SEIU represents liquor retail, brewery, and winery workers across British Columbia.

From left to right: Jelena Nicolato, Alisha Olson and Sam Psajd.
From right to left: Thijin Dobol-Gatwech and Rhys Lewis