Rosy Cannon

Rosy Cannon

Nanaimo Golf Club workers still locked out

NANAIMO – Union and golf club remain deadlocked over potential reprisals for scab workers.

Nanaimo Golf Club’s workers continue to man their picket line more than three months after they were locked out for serving strike notice.

The golf club’s clubhouse servers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, janitors and chef, more than two dozen people in all, were locked out April 24 after serving strike notice earlier that week over demands for improved wages and benefits.

As of Wednesday, the two sides remained deadlocked over potential reprisals for  workers who had crossed the pickets.

“We had mediation planned for this week and the mediator cancelled because they’re not making any movement whatsoever,” said Shelly Ervin, Unite Here Local 40 negotiator. “They’re hung up on no reprisals for the workers that crossed and, of course, we’re not going to agree to that.”

Ervin said the union also had to stop the club from using scab workers and has doubled members’ picket pay and provided full health coverage to help keep them on the line.

Ash Chadha, general manager of the Nanaimo Club House, said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin the golf club contacted the mediator to restart negotiations last week, but the mediator advised against it because the union’s position remained unchanged. The lockout, imposed in response to strike notice that posed a risk of  union members striking in the middle of serving an event, will remain in effect.

“Job protection for the folks who did it on their own and crossed the picket line is, obviously, one of the issues, but not the only outstanding issue,” Chadha said. “We have a number of issues outstanding, including the hourly wage rate increase.”

Chadha also said the Labour Relations Board ruled in late July that the club’s position to protect union workers who had crossed the pickets was “completely proper.”

Taj Parmar, Nanaimo Golf Club chef, said some of the general public and members of other unions have also supported the workers by dropping off grocery gift cards and food and walking the line with them, but the numbers on the line are dwindling as workers have take other jobs or go to school.

Eight workers remain on the pickets.

“[We started with] 27, but there’s three scabs in there,” said Vicky Sosnowski, clubhouse server who has worked at the golf club for 16 years.

“Ervin said the lockout has caused the golf club to cancel weddings and other events over the last three months.

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