Sit-in part of campaign to restore Grant’s Law

NANAIMO – Employee Action and Rights Network to stage sit-in at Mac's Convenience Store.

The Employee Action and Rights Network will stage a sit-in at Mac’s Convenience Store on Departure Bay Road as part of a campaign to restore Grant’s Law to the stipulations laid out when the statute was originally introduced.

The law was enacted in 2006 after Grant De Patie, a gas station attendant in Maple Ridge, B.C., was killed while trying to stop a driver who fled without paying for $12 worth of gasoline. The new law required drivers to pay before filling vehicles, and barred employees from working alone at night.

The law has since been altered so gas station and convenience store staff can work alone overnight as long as employers have a required set of workplace safety measures in place.

Nanaimo is one of three Mac’s Convenience Store locations – the others are in Vancouver and Victoria – targeted for sit-ins because the company was among those that lobbied for changes to the law in 2012, said Kassandra Cordero, Employee Action and Rights Network event coordinator.

“Whichever government we end up working with after the election, this particular issue is going to be one of the most important issues for young workers in the province and also for (the Employee Action and Rights Network),” Cordero said. “It’s kind of a signal to whatever government gets into place that this is absolutely critical and the lives of workers should remain safe in their workplace.”

The protest happens Friday (April 12) at the Mac’s parking lot, starting with a press conference at 7 p.m. followed by an overnight sit-in ending at 6 a.m. Saturday (April 13).