The end has come for the lengthy battle between Kelowna Cabs, its dispatchers and their union, MoveUP.
The taxi company and MoveUP reached a tentative deal, brokered by the B.C. Labour Relations Board (LRB). The new memorandum of agreement stated that Kelowna Cabs would end the lockout, MoveUP will withdraw unfair labour complaints against the company, and that Kelowna Cabs would withdraw its application seeking to decertify the union.
MoveUP held a meeting to vote on the agreement on June 17. The result: the members voted it through, which means they will be going back to work soon enough.
“We are pleased that our members will be returning to work, and with a collective agreement that protects their rights and reinforces the importance of local workers doing local jobs,” MoveUP vice-president Christy Slusarenko said.
“We thank the LRB vice-chair for their efforts, and thank everybody in the community in Kelowna who showed solidarity without members and stood together with us to fight to keep jobs local.”
The labour dispute began when the union’s collective agreement expired in 2019. Repeated attempts to reach an agreement in October 2019 and again in 2020 were not successful.
According to the LRB, Kelowna Cabs tried to lay off its eight dispatch employees in an attempt to replace them with a web-based dispatch application twice in one year. MoveUP successfully challenged the layoffs, with the dispatchers remaining at the company.
But in February 2021, Kelowna Cabs locked out the dispatchers, with MoveUP complaining to the LRB that the lockout was illegal, which the LRB deemed not illegal.
The new three-year agreement is retroactive to June 1, 2019, and will expire on May 31, 2022.