Vancouver—Five members at the Kennedy Heights printing plant will retain jobs because an independent arbitrator has upheld the lifetime employment guarantees negotiated by the union. The print shop of the Province and Vancouver Sun newspapers, Kennedy Heights will close in January 2015.
“A deal is a deal, so we’re pleased the arbitrator refused to let Pacific Newspaper Group try to re-write history,” said Peter McQuade, Unifor national representative. “Stable employment should not be too much to ask.”
The collective agreement language, first negotiated in 1977, stipulated that employment in some form was guaranteed as long as the employer ran either a print shop or a publication. The arbitrator ruled that shuttering the print shop did not nullify the job guarantee.
The arbitrator agreed and awarded the press operators compensation totalling between $3M and $5M.