NARAMATA, BC – The B.C. Labour Relations Board has ordered Naramata Centre to stop using replacement workers as a way to get around the legal strike of its employees.
Centre workers who belong to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) began a full strike on May 15 and it quickly became clear that the church centre was trying to continue operations with workers other than centre managers – a violation of the labour code.
CUPE National Representative Tom O’Leary said that the practice of undermining a strike is serious and that CUPE is very disappointed that the church centre would act in such bad faith.
“It has been clear to us that the centre has been badly mismanaged for some time, beginning with the December notice to contract out many of the unionized jobs at the centre, and continuing when they forced a final offer vote on employees on May 15. We hope that this latest fiasco will make the United Church and the Naramata Centre Board take matters in hand and deal with their management problems,” said O’Leary.
O’Leary noted that as part of the labour board hearing, the centre has agreed to cancel events and bookings from May 25, 2014 onward. He said that the union hopes that the centre will now focus on a shared solution with its unionized employees to address its long-term financial challenges.
CUPE 608 members provide a wide range of services to keep the guest accommodation facility running year-round. Bargaining began in early April, with contracting out as a key issue on the table.
A copy of the final Labour Board Order will be posted when it becomes available.