The Bay strike comes to end
Josh Dawson - May 23, 2024 - Biz Releases

Photo: Castanet

More than five months after unionized Hudson’s Bay Company workers at Aberdeen Mall walked off the job demanding wage increases, the unionized workers have finally come to an agreement with their employer.

Jordan Lawrence, USW Local 1-417’s financial secretary, said the union’s members have ratified a new collective agreement with the company. In a notice sent to unionized Kamloops HBC workers on Wednesday, a copy of which was provided to Castanet, the union said the agreement brings “substantial contract language improvements,” safeguards for union positions, wage increases and lump sum provisions.

“In addition, HBC has committed to providing significant financial support for members opting not to return to The Bay,” the notice said.

The workers said in January they were being offered a 1% wage increase for each contract year but said they were seeking more.

“Like all collective agreements, this agreement involved compromise, with neither the USW nor HBC management getting everything they desired,” the notice said.

The HBC store in Aberdeen Mall has been closed since Dec. 10, when unionized workers took to the picket line asking for higher pay. Negotiations fell through in January and both sides have been at a standstill since.

The agreement comes after the provincial government appointed David Schaub to mediate the dispute. Mediation sessions began last week between the workers and the company.

Hudson’s Bay Company said it is happy with the agreement.

“Hudson’s Bay is pleased that an agreement with the union representing the associates at its Kamloops location has been ratified,” HBC said in a statement to Castanet. “The deal includes a one per cent wage increase for associates.”

The company thanked Schaub and store customers.

“We are happy with the outcome, and look forward to welcoming associates back to store and serving our customers in the community,” the statement said.

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