The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Abbotsford, as well as the one in Chilliwack, closed down on May 12. Now, the union representing workers has filed an “unfair labor practice” complaint. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)

Union files ‘unfair labour practice’ complaint against Habitat for Humanity

Christian Labour Association of Canada fights for workers in Abbotsford and Chilliwack

The union that Habitat for Humanity Upper Fraser Valley (UFV) employees joined before the branch was shut down last week has filed an “unfair labour practice” complaint with the B.C. Labour Relations Board.

The Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) filed the complaint today (Friday) in support of the 17 individuals who were employees of Habitat’s ReStore locations in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Habitat for Humanity Canada – which builds homes in partnership with families in need – recently terminated the membership of the UFV affiliate, resulting in the closure on May 12 of the ReStore locations.

CLAC representative Jeff Wilson said, prior to the closure, employees approached the union with concerns about workplace culture and poor treatment.

“Over a short period of time, Habitat Upper Fraser Valley changed CEOs several times, leaving employees feeling vulnerable. Poor treatment ultimately led to employees feeling like they needed to give themselves a collective voice in their workplace,” Wilson said.

He said after discussions with internal organizers, employees decided to sign membership cards and have CLAC apply for certification to represent them as their union.

Wilson said that support throughout the card-signing process, and the subsequent secret ballot vote conducted by the BC Labour Board, was significantly in favour of unionization.

READ MORE: Habitat for Humanity Upper Fraser Valley to close its doors

He said that shortly after the vote was conducted, the union was informed that Habitat for Humanity Upper Fraser Valley was going to shut its doors. The reason given for the closure was the organization’s dire financial position, he added.

“Considering the assets – both in property and inventory – and what we have heard about sales at the Abbotsford ReStore, something doesn’t seem right to us,” Wilson said.

“With 17 people losing their jobs, and the community losing the services of an organization with a great track record of helping vulnerable people find a home, it leaves us with no choice but to file an ‘unfair labour practice complaint’ with the BC Labour Board.”

Wilson said the Labour Board will expedite the hearing to take place within three business days.

“The hearing will help bring all the issues regarding the closing of Habitat for Humanity Upper Fraser Valley to light, and will be the best way to protect our members’ rights,” he said.

Sources who spoke with Black Press about the situation say the national office closed down the UFV affiliate to break the union.

READ MORE: Sources question real reasons for closure of local Habitat for Humanity

But David Morris – the acting CEO brought in to help fully dissolve the local affiliate – has denied the claim, saying the branch was already in the process of being shut down before the union vote.

The UFV branch was based in Abbotsford, but also served Chilliwack, Mission and Hope.

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

VIDEO: A new Hive climbing/fitness facility coming to Surrey in 20,000-sq.-ft. space

‘Bouldering’ and other activities planned at site near Pattullo Bridge

MK Delta Lands development another step closer to breaking ground

Delta needs Metro Vancouver’s okay before swapping hundreds of acres and adding it to Burns Bog

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Most Read