Nanaimo Golf Club labour dispute reaches impasse

NANAIMO – Unionized workers were locked out eight months ago.

With a lockout entering its eighth month, employees and management of Nanaimo Golf Club remain at an impasse.

Management locked out 24 food and beverage employees in late April. The last offer was made in late October and membership voted against, according to Shelly Ervin, financial secretary-treasurer, of the hospitality workers’ union (Unite Here, Local 40).

Ervin said two members have crossed the picket line during the work stoppage and the union is taking issue with a no-reprisal clause that she said management has included in proposals. Union members who violate picket lines could be subject to fines and loss of membership, but the clause would protect those workers.

“That goes against everything that the workers believe in. It goes against the bylaws and their constitution and they will never vote on a package that stifles their ability to voice a democratic opinion,” said Ervin.

She also said the union is against a proposal to take the chef position out of the union and make it part of management. She said the club and union have come to an agreement on quite a few issues, including health care.

Ash Chadha, golf club general manager, said the last offer included wage increases, benefit premium increases and job protection. The union has not made a counter-offer or suggestions as to needs and wishes.

He said that the reprisal clause was one of the issues and that there are a number of others which are outstanding.

“That is not the only issue. For example, money is still not resolved, wages are not resolved, the wage progression is not resolved,” said Chadha. “We have a management position which we want to create with the ability to do some bargaining work. That is not resolved.”

Ervin said workers are in good spirits despite the length of the dispute.

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