After receiving 72-hour strike notice from their employees late Monday afternoon, Commissionaires BC has filed an application with the BC Labour Relations Board in an attempt to stop CUPE 338’s planned strike action.

“CUPE filed 72-hour strike notice at 3:53 p.m. on Monday December 11 with the BC Labour Relations Board and Commissionaires BC,” says CUPE National Representative Harry Nott. “The notice was served through email, and not through fax, and because of this Commissionaires BC has filed an application seeking to have the strike notice declared of no force and effect. We are disappointed that the employer continues to spend money on legal fees rather than put those resources towards a living wage for their employees.”

The main outstanding issue in this dispute remains wages.

Nott says Commissionaires BC continues to justify paying their employees low wages based on the fact that they are a not-for-profit company, and says the union has repeatedly asked Commissionaires BC to provide them with the salaries of their managerial employees.

“From the beginning of negotiations, we have asked Commissionaires BC to provide us with financial information that would support their position around wages, and they have flat out refused to provide anything to the union,” adds Nott. “CUPE’s position has always been, and continues to be, that Commissionaires BC’s status as a not-for-profit company does not prevent them from paying a fair wage to our members. We seriously question the Commissionaires’ refusal to be transparent about the salaries of their managerial employees.”

Nott says that should Commissionaires BC want to revise their last offer, the union is willing to take it to their members for consideration or that should they want to engage in meaningful discussions the union is willing to return to the bargaining table.

CUPE 338 represents 1,000 members who provide vital community services to Kelowna area residents and businesses.

Seventeen of those members work at the Kelowna RCMP detachment as jail guards and provide services including overseeing prisoners, assisting with prisoner searches and cell searches, organizing meals, recording prisoner activity, finger printing, and dispensing approved prescription medications to persons in custody.