VANCOUVER — A union representing thousands of provincial government workers in British Columbia has escalated job action with a ban on overtime.

B.C. General Employees’ Union president Stephanie Smith says the public service has relied on overtime for far too long.

She says in a statement that the aim is to deal with some systemic issues behind that reliance and to push the government to negotiate a contract.

The ban will not apply to members working in the BC Wildfire Service during the current wildfire season.

Last week, the 33,000-member union set up pickets around liquor distribution outlets to back demands like wage protection against inflation.

That has prompted the province to limit alcohol sales to no more than three of any individual item per customer, per day, at BC Liquor Stores, though beer purchases are exempt.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2022.

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