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Robberies in Langley renew need for night worker protection

LANGLEY (NEWS1130) – More rules are needed to protect people who work alone at night, says the BC Federation of Labour.  The call comes after a string of robberies in Langley.

Over a span of six days earlier this month there were nine robberies at Subway, pizza places and a deli.  Luckily, no workers were hurt but bear spray was used in four of the incidents.

The federation’s Jim Sinclair says safety recommendations were made to the Workers Compensation Board, but were shot down by large convenience store owners.  “Including a locked door after 10 p.m. and a window in which goods are sent out of and put in when someone is working alone.”

Grant’s Law, named after the man dragged to his death during a gas and dash in Maple Ridge several years ago, was put in place to protect people working alone at night.  It was quashed and is Sinclair along with Grant’s family is lobbying to change that.

“So what we can do now is to go to the WCB as we are, continue to lobby and defeat the government that lead the charge to overturn it.  The Liberals have had a terrible safety record, their respect for working people is terrible, “says Sinclair. “It’s time for change in this province and to have a government that actually thinks one of its jobs is to protect workers.  We want a 24-hour society a 24-hour consumer society that we should be providing that protecting for workers.”

As for the robberies in Langley, two people from Surrey have been arrested.  Insp. Amrik Virk says twenty-two-year-old Edward Biwer has been charged with nine counts of robbery, assault with a weapon and wearing a disguise with the intent to rob.

A 31-year-old woman has been released from custody but RCMP are recommending nine counts of robbery.