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Hudson’s Bay to workers: ‘Go on strike forever, it’s not going to change’

January 11, 2024
Three women holding USW 1-417 strike signs outside Hudson's Bay in Kamloops

Members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 1-417 in Kamloops, B.C. have been on strike with the Hudson’s Bay Company since Dec. 10, 2023.

On Jan. 8, 2024, the parties met with the assistance of a mediator from the B.C. Labour Relations Board in an attempt to find a resolution to end the labour dispute.

“Although there were some good discussions on the employer’s concessionary proposals, the negotiations fell flat when the talks turned to the insulting 1% yearly increase Hudson’s Bay has offered from the beginning,” said Jordan Lawrence, USW Local 1-417 financial secretary. “This offer is roughly a 17-cent raise to those who earn slightly above minimum wage.”

“To add to the insult, when speaking on the 1% offer from Hudson’s Bay, their lead negotiator stated, ‘go on strike forever, it’s not going to change.’ It’s appalling this is what Hudson’s Bay thinks of its workers. It’s absolutely disgraceful,” added Lawrence.

As of 2023, the living wage in Kamloops was $20.91 – almost four dollars more than what Hudson’s Bay pays its sales associates.

“For months, we’ve heard the line that ‘it’s the economy.’ Yet, at no time have they ever offered to show us their books to prove that they’re not turning a profit in Kamloops,” said Marty Gibbons, USW Local 1-417 president. “While we know we won’t reach the living rage in Kamloops immediately through this strike, 17 cents is not enough and Hudson’s Bay needs to pay its employees what they are worth,” Gibbons said.

USW Local 1-417 and its members continue to look for a fair and equitable agreement so members can return to work with dignity and continue to serve the great customers in Kamloops and the surrounding areas.

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Media Contact

Jordan Lawrence
USW Local 1-417 financial secretary
250-318-7668
lawrenceusw@telus.net

Marty Gibbons
USW Local 1-417 president
250-319-2844
gibbonsusw@telus.net

Brett Barden
USW Communications
604-445-6956
bbarden@usw.ca

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