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USW bat light shines a spotlight on Hudson’s Bay strike

January 16, 2024
"Fair Contract Now" is projected on a Hudson's Bay Store in Kamloops with 3 striking workers standing in front.

Unionized workers at the Hudson’s Bay in Kamloops, who are members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 1-417, are demanding a fair contract now by holding public awareness actions.

The USW’s “bat light” was in full action over the weekend projecting “Fair Contract Now” onto the Hudson’s Bay store in Kamloops.

“The bat light is just one of the actions we are using to shine a spotlight on the ongoing labour dispute with Hudson’s Bay,” said Marty Gibbons, USW Local 1-417 president. “Our members are talking to the public and they are getting frustrated by the disrespect from Hudson’s Bay. They are joining with us to demand a fair deal now as they want their Bay back.”

Hudson’s Bay workers have been on strike since Dec. 10, 2023, and 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.

“Hudson’s Bay continues to offer peanuts to these workers,” said Jordan Lawrence, USW Local 1-417 financial secretary. “Their latest offer is roughly a 17-cent raise to those who earn slightly above minimum wage. The company is making money and this offer simply falls flat especially when people are struggling to live and buy groceries for their families.”

The USW has also launched a public letter-writing campaign to send emails to Hudson’s Bay management to demand a fair contract now. The public is invited to send letters by going to usw.ca/hbc and filling in the form.

“It only takes a few seconds to send a message to the bosses at Hudson’s Bay that 17 cents is not enough for these workers. Just go to usw.ca/hbc to tell Hudson’s Bay to get back to the bargaining table with a better offer because you want your Bay store to re-open,” said Lawrence.

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. The Hudson’s Bay in Kamloops has been a unionized worksite since 1993. The workers’ only labour dispute was over their first collective agreement and lasted nine months.

The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector Union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.

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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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