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Hudson's Bay Company to reopen shuttered Kamloops store second week of June

The Bay will reopen in June

UPDATE 11:41 a.m.

Unionized workers from the Kamloops Hudson’s Bay Company store say they’re “satisfied” and “relieved” now that a months-long strike has ended.

The workers ratified a new collective agreement with the company on Wednesday, securing “substantial contract language improvements,” safeguards for union positions, wage increases and lump sum provisions, according to the union.

HBC said the deal included a one per cent wage increase for associates. The company said it plans to reopen its Aberdeen Mall location the second week of June.

Jordan Lawrence, USW Local 1-417 financial secretary, said the workers were still unsure when the store would be reopening for sure, but guessed that it would “take some time for the doors to open.”

“But my guess is like the workers will probably be back to work in the next week or so,” Lawrence said.

“There's still Christmas stuff there. So they have to go through that stuff, bring in new stock, take out the old stock, whether they're going to put it on sale or what.”

The workers said in January they were being offered a one per cent wage increase for each contract year, but said they had other objectives, as well.

“And we got it,” Lawrence said of provisions in the agreement.

He said the workers secured retention bonuses, “language for [workers] who may not want to go back” that he said was “akin” to monetary payments, as well as protection for seniority. He said all the concessions are “gone.”

The workers said HBC has also pledge financial assistance for members choosing not to return to the store following the strike.

“It’s a good collective agreement,” Lawrence said.

“Neither side really got what they wanted out of this, but I don't think that usually happens with a strike, especially long ones. So I think we're satisfied that it's complete, definitely relieved, especially the members.”

The new agreement will last until May 31, 2026.

Lawrence commented that he was proud of the striking workers, noting the number of workers that pamphleted outside of HBC stores in B.C. as well as support received from members of the United Steelworkers Union across Canada.

“This will be a memory in my career forever, just this small group of employees who stood up to HBC, it just makes me extremely proud,” he said.

The agreement comes after the provincial government appointed David Schaub to mediate the dispute. Mediation sessions began last week between the workers and the company.

“We thank special mediator David Schaub for his assistance in achieving a resolution in a timely manner,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada, in a press release.

“We are deeply proud and thankful of the support shown by the residents of Kamloops, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the store in the coming days.”


ORIGINAL 9:52 a.m.

An Aberdeen Mall anchor tenant that has been shuttered since December will reopen next month.

Hudson's Bay Company plans to reopen its Kamloops store during the second week of June, the company said in a statement to Castanet the day after a deal was reached to end a five-month strike.

The workers ratified a new collective agreement with the company on Wednesday, securing a one per cent wage increase as well as “substantial contract language improvements,” safeguards for union positions, wage increases and lump sum provisions, according to the union.

The HBC store in Aberdeen Mall had been closed since Dec. 10, when unionized workers took to the picket line. Negotiations fell through in January and the two sides had been at a standstill for months.

The agreement comes after the provincial government appointed David Schaub to mediate the dispute. Mediation sessions began last week between the workers and the company.



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