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B.C. appoints mediator in effort to end protracted HBC strike

David Schaub to work with both sides for up to 14 days to find resolution
A worker walks the picket line outside the Kamloops Hudson's Bay Company store in January.

Nearly five months in to a protracted strike, a special mediator has been appointed by the provincial government to help the Hudson’s Bay Company and its unionized Kamloops workers come to a deal.

The HBC store in Aberdeen Mall has been closed since Dec. 10, when workers at the store walked off the job demanding higher pay. Negotiations fell through in January and the two sides have been at a standstill ever since

The provincial government announced on Friday that David Schaub has been appointed to mediate the dispute. In a news release, the province describes Schaub as a “highly regarded mediator.”

“His role will be to help the parties end the labour dispute,” the release reads.

“Schaub will work with the parties for up to 14 days to secure a resolution to the ongoing strike. If a settlement cannot be reached within this timeline, he will issue recommendations to end the dispute with both parties having five days to either accept or reject those recommendations.”

Throughout the dispute, HBC has said it is “committed to the bargaining process,” but striking workers have accused the company of being unwilling to budge

Last week, the striking Kamloops workers were shown support in a national United Steelworkers Union campaign, in which union members picketed outside HBC stores across Canada in support of employees at the Aberdeen Mall store.