Courts rebuff HEABC bid to punish HEU for Sunset Lodge fight back

THE HEALTH EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION OF B.C. was forced December 2 to withdraw its bid to have the courts impose legal and financial penalties on HEU over a community-led protest against privatization at the Salvation Army’s Sunset Lodge last summer.

HEABC’s contempt of court application centred on a community-led political protest at the Esquimalt facility last July mounted by local activists to protest the Salvation Army’s decision to contract out the work of dozens of long-serving HEU members.

The employer organization alleged that HEU was involved in the protest and as such was in violation of a B.C. Supreme Court injunction issued earlier this year after union members staged widespread protests on January 28 to mark the first anniversary of the Campbell Liberal’s contract breaking legislation, Bill 29.

But based on legal arguments by the union’s counsel, Justice Pitfield ruled that key parts of HEABC’s evidence were inadmissible. With a big hole in their case, HEABC withdrew the contempt bid.

The employer organization had asked the court to levy a $250,000 fine against our union.

Justice Pitfield reminded HEU that it must abide by the original injunction.