November 20, 2020
VICTORIA, B.C. – BC labour rights advocacy organization The Retail Action Network welcomes the news that mask-wearing has finally been made mandatory inside of BC’s retail stores, grocery stores, cafes and public areas. While the industry awaits specifics on how these regulations may be effectively enforced, the network of workers continues to call for more; the assurance of paid sick days for all employees covered through BC’s Employment Standards Act.
“There is no reason to hesitate on ensuring that protections for workers are consistent; precarious and low wage earners make up a large majority of BC’s population. We can’t leave workers alone to negotiate for their safety, especially with a severe lack of employment protection for those without a union that are experiencing this pandemic, balancing on thin ice from paycheque to paycheque,” said Anna Gerrard, a member of RAN.
Canada’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2020 from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada states that “Without paid sick leave, employees may lose income if they become ill and are unable to work. Without employment security, they may lose their jobs if they stay home when sick. In either case, and particularly if they are economically insecure, workers may feel unable to comply with public health guidance to stay home when sick”
The organization thanks Dr. Bonnie Henry for her tireless efforts to keep people safe, and hopes that she will consider endorsing the call for permanent paid sick leave protection.