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Entire shop stewards committee picks CLAC as its new union

Orca Bay’s blockbuster trade

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

VANCOUVER, BC – A new coach is not the only change at the Vancouver Canucks. Various ice hockey stars have packed their bags for different sports teams, some perhaps not willingly. Another departure occurred at Orca Bay, the team’s owners, is its Unite Here Local 40, when over 400 employees of the company voted about 77 percent in favour of joining Local 501 of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC).

The change of union was led by the entire Local 40 stewards committee, which never wavered in its controversial choice for the CLAC when top officials of the BC Federation of Labour intervened in an attempt to shore up support for their beleaguered affiliate. Orca Bay employees had grown tired of their local and sought better service. They were attracted to CLAC’s hands-on experience and strong representational model, according to a long-time shop steward. The employee group includes hosts, housekeeping, security and various event staff at GM Place. The blockbuster trade by Orca Bay employees failed to get much press.

The CLAC was founded in 1952 by new Dutch Christian immigrants who, just a few years after they had been liberated from Nazi dictatorship and various attempts at compulsory allegiance, balked at compulsory membership and sweeping statements of allegiance.