(Mission Hill Family Estate Winery/Facebook)

Mission Hill cellarman 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

No water for some Vernon residents amid maintenance

Interupption Tuesday from 8-3 for BX areas

Spallumcheen racetrack owners apply for property rezoning

No events have been held at Motoplex Speedway in four years, mainly because of legal action

Soup canned in Vernon nearly 90 years ago gets taste test

YouTube shows man taking contents from old Bulmans Cannery vegetable mix and making, eating soup

Vernon Vipers captain wins Duncan Wray Memorial Award

Connor Marritt exemplifies late owner’s catchphrase: ‘Once A Viper, Always A Viper’

Salmon Arm beats Vernon in BCHL video final

Silverbacks to meet Cowichan Valley Capitals in league’s simulated video Fred Page Cup final

As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Dyer: DIY energy audit with solar bonus material

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Immune compromised, at risk Shuswap residents keeping their distance

Family of young heart transplant recipient, asthma sufferer share how they’re coping

COVID-19 world update: 1,000 cases hit U.S. military; Good news in Spain, Portugal

Comprehensive collection of coronavirus news from around the world

Kelowna DJ gets shoutout from John Krasinski for ‘intellectual property heist’

DJ Stephen Keppler was accused and lauded for his appropriation of John Krasinski’s Some Good News

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Most Read