(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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Freeport — the camp site that was the region’s largest community

A story of the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

Burns Lake to get a pedestrian-activated light

The blind turn at the RBC crossing to get safer

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read