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2004-09-11
Sanguenay, Quebec. Unionized Wal-Mart Upheld By Labor Board

The Globe & Mail reports this week from Montreal that the Labor Board in Quebec has rejected Wal-Mart's challenge to the unionization of its workers in Sanguenay, north of Quebec City. The Wal-Mart there has about 150 workers. Wal-Mart was challenging the composition of the bargaining unit, but the decision by the Commission des relations de travail du Quebec means that the list of employees submitted by the union will stand. Last July, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) presented signed union cards from more than half the workers. Wal-Mart had a longer list of workers they said were eligible, in an effort to make the UFCW list fall below 51%. On August 2, the Labor Board certified the union, because in Quebec accreditation can happen when enough cards are filed. A separate vote is not required for unionization. "People are very happy," the president of the local union told the newspaper. "We were euphoric Aug. 2 and that has been reconfirmed today. People are relieved." The union is now preparing to negotiate with the world's largest department store. The Globe & Mail says that similar union efforts are underway in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia. Wal-Mart has indicated that they want all hourly employees who have equal status, who aren't managers, to be part of the accredited unit. The Labor Board rejected Wal-Mart's list of bargaining unit members. "Taking into account the evidence submitted by the parties and heard during a hearing, the commission has concluded that the appropriate unit is the one proposed by the workers," said the written decision released this week by the Board.

What you can do: For an earlier story about this successful unionization effort in Canada, search by "union." The previous story misspelled the town as "Saguenay".










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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