(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

IN PHOTOS: 2020 Wilgress Lake Fishing Derby

Fishermen dotted Wilgress Lake for the Boundary Métis Association’s annual event

Grand Forks marches against gender violence

The Grand Forks march was part of 1 Billion Rising, a global movement against gender violence

Midway mill shutdown expected to last 8 to 10 weeks

Vaagen Fibre Canada cites low inventory, road restrictions as reason for shut down

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

Tonnes of food diverted to food bank from Grand Forks grocery store

In December alone, the Boundary Community Food Bank took in more than 4,000 kgs of perishable food

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read