(Mission Hill Family Estate Winery/Facebook)

Cellarman at Okanagan winery fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

A year long dispute between the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery and a former employee has concluded and found the company was justified in firing its employee.

In 2018, Mission Hill cellarman Brent Crozier was fired from the winery after an error which resulted in the loss of nearly 6,000 litres of Mission Hill sauvignon blanc, a retail value of $162,464.

According to arbitrator files, Crozier had been responsible for moving wine from one tank to another and had left a valve open by mistake after not properly checking the tanks and lines. As a result, 5,680 litres of wine fell to the cellar’s floor and down the drain.

“I was freaking out. I could not believe I forgot to change over the valve,” Crozier said at the arbitration hearing.

Crozier and his union filed grievance for wrongful dismissal but the arbitrator of the labour case, Nicholas Glass, ruled in favour of Mission Hill and dismissed the grievance.

READ MORE: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Crozier had worked for the winery for over 15 years and this costly mistake was not the first for the seasoned employee who had been promoted to the top cellerman position in 2014.

In 2017, Crozier was held responsible for the loss of 11,000 litres of wine. The two losses of wine are the only two incidents in the winery’s history and both were from a mistake by Crozier.

Crozier’s union argued that the firing was too harsh, that other Mission Hill employees have made similar mistakes and had not been terminated. It was also noted by Crozier that the period of time in which the mistake was made is the busiest time of the year resulting in Crozier feeling extra pressure.

READ MORE: UBCO looking for great writers as part of annual Okanagan Short Story Contest

Glass dismissed the grievance on Dec. 30, 2019, agreeing that Mission Hill did not single Crozier out for harsh treatment.

“The union made much of the number of times the grievor said he was sorry for what he had done and of the fact that he was obviously remorseful,” said Glass in his ruling.

“I do not find this to be a mitigating factor of much substance given that after the same or similar apologies and expressions of remorse in 2017, he repeated the same disastrous error approximately 18 months later.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of West KelownaWinery

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WEATHER: Langley to see sunny weather before rain makes a comeback

Fog patches are expected to dissipate Tuesday morning

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

VIDEO: Planes and hockey games – Family Day around Langley

Museum of Flight held an annual gathering while the Vancouver Giants faced off against Seattle

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Woman charged after alleged fuel thefts, ramming of RCMP car in B.C. Interior

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen bikes, weapons

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Most Read