(Kelowna Capital News)

(Kelowna Capital News)

B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

A Peachland cannabis company has been ordered to re-hire nine employees it laid off early in October.

The order comes from the B.C. Labour Relations Board, which determined the employees were laid off due to the company’s anti-union sentiment.

Potanicals Green Growers, a subsidiary of Benchmark Botanics Inc., laid off nine employees at its Peachland operation, several weeks after 17 employees indicated they wanted to be part of the bargaining unit.

During a meeting with its employees on Oct. 5, the company announced it was laying off nine employees effective on Oct. 6, including master grower Tyler Bigattini and head of security Joshua Stowell. The company didn’t lay off any of its farmworkers, seven of whom are temporary foreign workers.

“Other employees who were not laid off had close connections with management at the employer’s Richmond head office,” the Labour Board said in its decision, published on Oct. 16.

In its decision, the Labour Board alleged Potanicals violated sections 6, 9 and 32 of the Labour Code. Section 6 prohibits an employer from discharging or refusing to employ a person if they are or will participate in a trade union. Section 9 states coercion or intimidation must not be used to influence an employee’s decision to be part of a trade union. Section 32***

During the hearings earlier in the month, the Labour Board stated the company did not provide evidence that the layoffs were necessary for the business.

The nine employees have now been reinstated with back pay and other benefits. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 1518 has also been given permission to install a bulletin board in the Peachland operation so it can post material and communications.

READ: Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

cannabis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Revelstoke COVID-19 cluster linked to non-essential travel: Horgan

There have been 46 cases of COVID-19 in the community

(File photo)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate markets not slowing down

Residential sales in the Central, North Okanagan and Shuswap beat last year’s sales by 71 per cent

santa.
Morning Start: Santa Claus has an official pilot’s license

Your morning start for Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses walking sticks while walking up a hill, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health reports 83 more COVID-19 infections overnight

46 cases are now associated with a COVID-19 community cluster in Revelstoke

Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, speaks with North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold during a Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce breakfast Monday, March 2 at Eatology. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Despite $381.6 B deficit, better days are coming: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

“We want Canadians to know that we’ve got their backs”

Students at Lavington Elementary crammed a car full of non-perishables for those in the community facing food insecurity. Spearheaded by teacher January Peebles (left), the donations were picked up by Give LUCK founder Myrika Godard, who works to connect donors with donees in the North Okanagan. (Give LUCK photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

(Jennifer Smith - Morning Star file photo)
Three-car crash ties up Vernon intersection

One person transported by Ambulance for non-life threatening injuries

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Residents should run their taps until cold before using their water. (Black Press file photo)
Westside water quality advisory back on tap

Leak repair at Westshore Estates affecting some properties, again

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read