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Burnaby restaurant still shut down due to devastating year-long labour dispute

This Metrotown-area restaurant has been caught in the middle of a squabble between management and the union.

First, it was hit by COVID-19 restrictions. Now, it’s a devastating labour dispute.

The Burnaby restaurant Time and Place is still shut down “temporarily” with pickets out front.

Time and Place is a restaurant that specializes in West Coast cuisine and is located inside the Hilton Metrotown hotel.

Unionized workers have been off the job for more than a year. The union says that they were locked out by Hilton, but the hotel giant says the workers are actually on strike.

Last month, Unite Here Local 40 said workers that were allegedly locked out in April of 2021 had rejected Hilton Metrotown’s latest offer of binding arbitration.

In an April 19, 2022, memo addressed to colleagues, Hilton Metrotown general manager Scott de Savoye said they are “ready, willing and committed” to meet with the committee at any time, but he added “it does take two sides to negotiate.” The hotel claims the union cancelled meetings scheduled for the second week of March this year.

The letter once again reiterated the hotel’s position of workers being on strike and not actually locked out. de Savoye said employees are free to return to work at any time and it is their right to do so.

“If you choose to return to work there are no pre-conditions,” he said.

Unite Here Local 40 spokesperson Stephanie Fung had told the NOW in April that if employees returned to work, it would be conditional and included giving up union health and pension benefits, paid time off and workload protections that protect health and safety.

“That’s an impossible choice for workers,” she said.

The union says the location locked out room attendants, front desk agents, banquet, and kitchen staff on April 16, 2021, after terminating 97 long-term staff, impacting at least 50 workers who live in Burnaby — a move the union called "mass firings" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the restaurant has been renovated and is ready to open when the labour dispute ends.

Time and Place is not the only Burnaby eatery that is shut down on a temporary basis. The Study restaurant and pub on the Burnaby Mountain campus of SFU reopened in September 2021 when students returned to in-person classes but then suddenly closed down again due to slow traffic. The company has said it plans to reopen when it feels business conditions are ready for it.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.