Employees at River’s Reach Pub in New Westminster, B.C., unionize

Workers looking for ‘fairness and respect’: UFCW
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/15/2019
Labour relations
The neighbourhood pub has been serving the community since 2000. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Hospitality workers at River’s Reach Pub in New Westminster, B.C., are the newest members of United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) Canada, Local 1518 after voting on May 13 to join the union.

“For the workers at River’s Reach, bringing in the union was about fairness and respect,” said Patrick Johnson, UFCW 1518 secretary-treasurer. “The hospitality industry is notoriously precarious and largely non-unionized, making it difficult for workers to find stable employment.”

Last week, the B.C. NDP announced amendments to employment standards that strengthen protection for workers, including a ban on employer’s claiming tips. Still, the standard of legal protection is lower for non-unionized workers, said the union.

The neighbourhood pub has been serving the community since 2000.

Add Comment

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *

Comments (3)

An opposite opinion165/18/2019 11:47:11 AMHaving been to the River’s Reach Pub numerous times and observed the staff (not to mention that I have worked in the industry for many years), I have to disagree. Obviously, our experiences are different, but I’ve never seen any sign or symptom of the employees there being bullied from ‘higher-ups’. The staff are friendly and comfortable, I’d say some are too comfortable. I’ve had some pretty snobby service, to be totally honest, and generally curt, ‘I’m too good for this job’ service isn’t the result of being mistreated, rather the opposite. It’s disappointing that mistreatment happens in the workplace and we can all agree that it shouldn’t, but I don’t see this as a toxic environment at all. Further, no offense to the union, I don’t believe unionizing solves the concerns of the staff, if they truly exist. The staff are keenly protected by the labour laws and have access to much support, provided they ask for it; unionizing is simply a very expensive way to gain a new phone number for that support. (From personal experience, having been union and non-union in the industry, you’re better off being a regular employee: you save money and headaches.) If I were to hedge a bet, and it’s only a guess, I’d say this was more of an attempt on behalf of the staff to bully the ownership for whatever reason. Believe me, I’ve seen it. “What? You want me to do my job? Wipe this table? Greet these customers with a smile? But, I’m having a bad day, I don’t want to do my job today, I’m calling the union.” Sometimes, you need to do your job with a positive work ethic, have adult conversations and sometimes you’re just not cut out for the public service industry, it can be very challenging. For me, from the outside (and, again, I’ve never worked there or known anyone who has), I’d say this was a step in the wrong direction. Sadly, it’ll come back to haunt them, adult temper tantrums have a way of doing that 100% of the time.
A customer's perspective 145/20/2019 2:24:07 PMI don't know how these employees expect respect when they don't treat their customers with respect. I hope that the union teaches these servers some manners, and how to treat customers with respect. I have been a regular at this pub for years and the food is amazing, but the staff have the worst attitude and a frankly are just rude. The servers do not create a welcoming visit more like an entitled position. If it wasn't for the food, I would probably not be such a regular.
Rivers Reach Pub65/15/2019 12:02:56 PMI think this pub treats employees badly. The servers seem nervous and on edge when we get served, and they seem to get yelled at and bullied. I hope the union can stop all this and have the servers back.