Saltspring Island Ales has become the first craft brewery in British Columbia to unionize after three production staff and five part-time staff in the tasting room voted to join the Brewery, Winery and Distillery union.
“I think it will bring more people on board to go unionized to get better wages and better living conditions,” said the union’s business agent Gerry Bergunder.
Under the new deal Gulf Island Brewery agreed to add more equipment and put more money into the brewing facility.
The owners also signed on to top up the Medical Service Plan premiums for employees, but did not include a lot of benefits, he said.
Bergunder said the owners “weren’t happy with them organizing” but didn’t interfere with the employees.
The owners of Gulf Island Brewery Ltd., the parent company of Saltspring Ales, would not comment to the CBC about the move.