Wednesday, July 3rd marks 300 days since the Heritage Inns in both Moose Jaw and Saskatoon locked out their union employees, meaning that about 10 months have passed since the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1400 members began picketing.

The last update on the ongoing labour dispute was a Feb. 28 finding by the Saskatchewan Labour Board that the Heritage Inn and/or its agents had been bargaining in bad faith. 

The labour board ordered at that time that Heritage Inn and its representation should cease and refrain from committing unfair labour practices and the employer must return to the bargaining table and make “every reasonable effort” to conclude a new collective agreement.

According to the ruling, some of Heritage Inn's proposed changes to the collective bargaining agreement included changes to the scope and removal of protection for bargaining unit work, the elimination of any guarantee of full-time employment, a change of seniority in relation to department and not the workplace, and the removal of paid bereavement leave. 

The board noted that Heritage Inns should have reasonably known “the likely impact of the proposal packet it was putting forward.” With evidence that the employer was not seeking to compromise on “any of the most concerning of its proposals,” the board ruled on Feb. 28 that Heritage Inns was not genuinely seeking an agreement. 

The board did also say that the union was “not always on its best behaviour."

Discover Moose Jaw News reached out to Heritage Inn Moose Jaw for comment and received the following reply from Heritage Inn Media Relations:

"Thank you for your email and for reaching out to us regarding the current labour dispute. At this time, there is no new information to share. Negotiations are ongoing, and we remain eager to bring the labour dispute to a resolution for the benefit of all parties involved. We understand the importance of keeping the public informed and when we have new information to share we will reach out to you."

UFCW Local 1400 says about 42 Moose Jaw housekeepers, front desk staff, cooks, and servers are affected by the lockout. In a statement issued July 3rd, the union said that workers have suffered through adverse weather, the boredom of daily picketing, and "disappointment in the owners' actions."

"We celebrated a win at the labour board when the Heritage Inn was found guilty of bargaining in bad faith, we celebrated with each worker who, even when threatened by the loss of their job and to their immigration status, chose to leave the hotel and come walk with us, we celebrate when supporters, allies and friends join us on the picket line and we celebrate each and every one of the workers who started on the picket line with us on day one and still remain committed to their new family."