Kelowna Cabs violates labour code, B.C. board rules | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna Cabs violates labour code, B.C. board rules

MoveUP, the union representing dispatchers and call takers at Kelowna Cabs, held a rally at Kelowna Cabs’ headquarters Feb. 26, 2021.
April 04, 2021 - 1:40 PM

Kelowna Cabs has violated B.C.'s labour code after the company told a worker if he wanted to keep his job, he would have to give up his union membership.

The B.C. Labour Relations Board published its ruling Wednesday, March 31, stating Kelowna Cabs violated two sections of the labour code when the cab company told the worker "if he wanted to keep working at Kelowna Cabs he would have to give up the Union, and that unless he did so, he would never work at Kelowna Cabs again."

“A person must not use coercion or intimidation of any kind that could reasonably have the effect of compelling or inducing a person to become or to refrain from becoming or to continue or cease to be a member of a trade union,” according to the labour code.

An employer must also not participate in or interfere with the formation, selection or administration of a trade union, according to the labour code.

In February, Kelowna Cabs locked out dispatchers and call takers when talks between the MoveUP union that represents the workers and the business broke down.

The labour board did not agree to the union's complaint that the lockout breached the labour code.

Five dispatchers and call takers have been locked out since February. The workers have been without a collective agreement since 2019.

“The responsibility for this lockout lies solely at the feet of Kelowna Cabs management,” said Christy Slusarenko, vice-president of MoveUP, in a press release on the decision. “They can end this lockout today, let our members go back to work immediately, and come back to the bargaining table so we can get a deal done."

According to another labour board decision posted in November 2020, Kelowna Cabs had issued layoff notices to its employees as it planned to close the dispatch office and start using an app as of Dec. 1.

READ MORE: Union urges boycott of Kelowna Cabs as company locks out dispatchers

“If they want the community to believe they are not really looking to outsource work to an overseas call centre, then we can get a deal done because that has always been the biggest hurdle in these negotiations. If that is off the table, then let’s get a deal done. The ball is in their court,” Slusarenko said.


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