RICHMOND—Members of Richmond’s two civic CUPE locals and a UBC local joined an information picket today at the gates of Quilchena Golf & Country Club, which has locked out its 19 grounds employees.
The golf course workers, members of CUPE 4964, were locked out on Monday after only nine days of combined bargaining and mediation—and despite making every effort to negotiate a collective agreement at the bargaining table and avoid a labour dispute.
At today’s information picket, members distributed bilingual handbills to golf club members driving into the club. Many club members expressed surprise at the lockout and support for the members in their effort to return to the table.
“They appreciated our giving them information, because management isn’t telling them anything,” said CUPE National servicing representative Sung Wong. “There are club members who have been calling for more information and no one calls them back.”
Wong said that CUPE 4964 members are hopeful that the lockout will end soon and that management will call the union back to the table, adding that media coverage of the lockout is hurting the club’s image.
“We’re surprised that management may not be awakening to this reality and are continuing on this path to the club’s detriment,” he said, as a lurking management representative surveyed the scene from a golf cart about fifty metres inside the gate.
Wong, thanking members of CUPE locals 394, 718 and 2950 for joining the information picket—and CUPE BC for providing coffee and doughnuts from the community events trailer—said that CUPE would soon be sending the golf club a fifth invitation to return to the bargaining table. CUPE Local 4964 thanked CUPE 718 (Richmond Inside Workers) for its financial donation.