(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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

The Interior Wildfire Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10-15 acres to house a rehab centre for injured and orphaned wildlife like deer and moose calves. (Black Press file photo)
Okanagan group look for property to house wildlife rehab centre

The Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is looking for 10 acres for injured/orphaned animals

Darrell RIchards and his Harley Davidson Streetglide in front of Discovery House in Penticton on Nov. 5. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton biker still in running to win custom chopper competition

Darrell Richards is sitting in first in the final round of the group stage

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Clarence Fulton students collect cash and non-perishable food donations for families in need in their community Friday, Nov. 27. (Jennifer Smith  - Morning Star)
North Okanagan students collect food for families in need

Annual event to support nine school families this year

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Leighton Allen Labute faces charges of animal abuse and allegedly has a string of social media accounts depicting disturbing content.
Accused Kelowna hamster killer has trial date set for 2021

Leighton Labute’s three day trial is scheduled for Aug. 16, 2021

Most Read