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2005-03-03
Winslow, Canada. More Union Troubles For Wal-Mart Canada

There's a persistent chill in the air north of the border in the Canadian provinces, as Wal-Mart management continually is confronted with more and more stores trying to unionize. The United Food and Commercial Workers says they are back in action at a store in Windsor, Ontario -- the same store where another union lost a vote five years earlier. Employees at the store voted in the 1990s against joining the United Steelworkers of America. However, the Ontario labor board ruled in 1997 that Wal-Mart had engaged in a pattern of misconduct, and automatically certified the employees. But no contract was ever signed with Wal-Mart, and then the Canadian AutoWorkers took over the case. They too could not get Wal-Mart to negotiate a contract. The Auto Workers left the store in 2000, and the union was decertified. The UFCW now claims it has more than 40% of the workers at the Windsor Wal-Mart location. With 40% signatures, the union can ask for a certification vote. "Wal-Mart employees want to have a voice, want to have a say in what goes on with them at work," a UFCW spokesperson told the Windsor Star newspaper. "They want most of all to have respect at work. "It's our intention to unionize Wal-Mart stores wherever workers themselves are ready to stand up and try to make it happen. And there are workers in all the stores in the area who are having those kinds of feelings." Wal-Mart told the Star, "We've always respected people's rights to decide on these issues. But we believe it's good for our associates when they can deal directly with the company. We believe in open communication."

What you can do: As one former Wal-Mart employee once told me: "Yeah, they got an 'open door' policy: you open your mouth, you're out the door. For earlier stories on this theme, search the Newsflash page by "unions."










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

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