Workers at the Hudson’s Bay store at Aberdeen Mall in Kamloops, B.C., have walked off the job after their union and the company were unable to reach a wage agreement.
United Steelworkers union Local 1-417, which represents the workers, says talks have been ongoing since July without success.
It says it met with Hudson’s Bay and a mediator at the B.C. Labour Relations Board on Tuesday but could not reach an agreement, adding that the company didn’t budge on its proposal of a one-per-cent wage increase for each year of the contract.
The union says it issued a 72-hour strike notice to the company on Wednesday and the job action officially began at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
Hudson’s Bay says in a statement that it appreciates the hard work of its store associates and remains committed to the bargaining process and reaching a resolution.
The union is encouraging the public to avoid shopping at the store until the labour dispute is resolved.
Jordan Lawrence, USW Local 1-417 financial secretary, said the job action comes at the busiest holiday time for the business and aims to “send a message loud and clear that this is unacceptable.”
“Our members will not put up with these bullying tactics from the company any longer,” Lawrence said in a news release.
“We encourage customers to shop at the mall but respectfully ask that they honour our legal picket line and find their gifts elsewhere.”
The picket lines will only be set up outside the Hudson’s Bay entrances at the mall, Lawrence added.
“We regret the disruption in our Kamloops store and hope to return to serving our customers as soon as possible,” Hudson’s Bay said in its statement.