Victory at Hillside Park Retirement Residence in Sudbury

February 2, 2012 at 6:06pm

In April 2010, the Hillside Park Retirement Residence in Sudbury closed its doors for good. Nineteen members of UFCW Local 175 lost their jobs that day.

To make matters worse, the employer refused to pay to its workers and the Local Union the outstanding money it owed for things such as float holiday pay, clothing allowance, pension, benefits and dues remittance. The employer also took the position that they were not required to pay severance.

Union Representative Dave White filed a number of grievances to deal with these issues and although the workplace closed, these issues proceeded to arbitration in September 2010, assisted by Local 175 Legal Counsel Natalie Wiley.

During the months that followed the hearing, the Union resolved the money owed to workers for float holiday pay, clothing allowance, pension, benefit and dues. The employer forwarded those payments to the members and the Local Union. The employer, however, remained steadfast on not paying severance.

The Union continued to argue the matter before the Arbitrator and Labour Board. Finally, during the last hearing on January 20, 2012, the employer conceded that they were obligated to pay severance as identified under the Employment Standards Act of Ontario. This means that those employees with five years or more of service, as of the date the facility closed, are entitled to severance.

While this matter took almost two years to resolve after the workplace closure, the Union remained determined to ensure the rights of the workers were upheld to a successful end. The Union worked with the employer during the last month to identify the employees eligible for severance and over the next four months, the employer will meet their obligations to make the necessary payments to those workers.