February 27, 2019 4:17 pm
Updated: February 27, 2019 5:32 pm

2 former Credit Union Centre employees awarded damages after wrongful dismissal

Two former Credit Union Centre employees have been awarded damages after being fired in 2012, following a business trip to Arizona.

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Two former employees of Credit Union Centre have been awarded damages for wrongful dismissal dating back to 2012.

A Saskatoon judge ruled William Antonishyn and Brian Swidrovich were wrongly fired from their management positions at the city-owned arena, now known as SaskTel Centre.

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Antonishyn, the previous ticketing and business projects director, and Swidrovich, the former business development director, took to a trip to Phoenix, Ariz., in October 2011, along with clients and the outgoing executive director, Ken Wood.

In January 2012, both men were fired.

Antonishyn and Swidrovich said the trip served Credit Union Centre’s business interests and that it was authorized by Wood. Will Lofdahl took over as executive director, following Wood’s retirement in late October, and fired the two men.

Credit Union Centre officials argued the Phoenix trip was improperly authorized, in that it served no business purpose, after Antonishyn and Swidrovich expensed nearly $8,000 for airfare, meals, drinks, golf, and tickets to an NFL game.

“The principal actors within Saskatchewan Place Association (SPA), apparently for varying reasons, ignored one central, salient and indisputable fact – namely, that Mr. Wood, the plaintiffs’ immediate superior authorized them to sponsor and participate in the 2011 trip,” Justice Richard Elson wrote in his 70-page decision.

“I am satisfied that SPA has failed to meet the burden of establishing just cause for dismissal. Accordingly, the plaintiffs are entitled to damages arising from their dismissal,” Elson wrote.

Elson ruled Antonishyn was to receive damages equal to 24 months of income and benefits he would have received during the corresponding period of time following his dismissal, while Swidrovich was to be awarded damages equal to 20 months.

In 2011, Antonishyn and Swidrovich each earned $102,222.

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City solicitor Patricia Warwick said the judgment is being reviewed by SaskTel Centre’s legal team.

“SaskTel Centre respects the court process and the right of the plaintiffs to a fair trial,” Warwick said in a written statement.

“As the events which relate to this judgment arose in 2011 and 2012, SaskTel is looking forward to concluding this matter and moving forward with an eye on the future of SaskTel Centre.”

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