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Grant's Law changes come into effect today

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC’s convenience store workers will be less protected as of April 15, according to the Employee Action and Rights Network.

Overnight workers will no longer have to be accompanied by another worker or be protected by a barrier, thanks to changes to Grant’s Law coming into effect.

Instead, employers will have to provide a time lock safe, a surveillance camera and an emergency button to protect solo graveyard workers.

The network’s Stephen Von Sychowski cites a recent case of a liquor store employee, targeted by a robber while she was alone.

“There was an emergency button installed. Unfortunately that alarm went to the cell phone of her manager who was home asleep in bed. She received no assistance until the robbery ended. The emergency button doesn’t necessarily provide any protection or deterrent.”

Network members spent Saturday evening handing out leaflets at a Mac’s store on East Broadway. The convenience store company led the lobby to make changes to Grant’s Law.

Von Sychowski says employees working overnight in convenience stores, private liquor stores and gas stations are very vulnerable.

“We went around to convenience stores and gas stations late at night and surveyed employees about their own feelings about safety in their workplace. We were really shocked to find how many had been victims of violence in the workplace working late at night, alone.”  

Grant’s Law was originally crafted after Grant De Patie, the young gas station attendant who was dragged to his death by someone trying to get away without paying back in 2005.