(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

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Local theatre still struggling under COVID-19

How long can show go on for Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows’ cinemas?

LETTER: B.C. Parks need to be a priority in the upcoming election

Maple Ridge writer feels a more effort must be dedicated to preserving and upkeeping parks

13 productions shooting in Maple Ridge this month alone

Maple Ridge was one of the first Lower Mainland municipalities to welcome back film crews

ON COOKING: Chef Dez offers help in the kitchen during a pandemic

COVID-19 has more people at home and spending time in the kitchen

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Most Read