UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

April 07, 2005 10:38 ET


Subpoena to hand over company anti-union materials stands Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 7, 2005) - The Supreme Court of Canada has denied a leave to appeal by Wal-Mart Canada that challenged the power of the Saskatchewan Labour Board, the province's Trade Union act, and an earlier ruling by the Saskatchewan Appeal Court.

Wal-Mart filed a leave to appeal with the Supreme Court on January 17, 2005 after the Saskatchewan Appeal Court ruled the Saskatchewan Relations Labour Board (SLRB) was within its rights when it ordered Wal-Mart to deliver Wal-Mart company materials that outline the company's anti-union strategies.

The order was issued during SLRB hearings in June 2004 on an application by the UFCW Canada union to represent employees at a Wal-Mart store in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. The order required Wal-Mart Canada to deliver internal anti-union strategy materials to the SLRB as evidence for it to determine if the company had breached Saskatchewan labour laws during the union organizing campaign.

Today's decision by the Supreme Court to deny Wal-Mart's leave to appeal means the SLRB order stands and that Wal-Mart could be found in contempt if it fails to produce the subpoenaed materials when the Weyburn hearings recommence.

"The Supreme Court decision has confirmed the integrity and credibility of the SLRB," said Paul Meinema, president of UFCW Canada Local 1400 (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada), "and we're glad the Weyburn hearings which started almost a year ago can get rolling again."

"Wal-Mart has demonstrated it will do anything to deny its workers their constitutional right to join a union," added Michael J. Fraser, national director of UFCW Canada, "including a Supreme Court appeal that basically argued the labour laws that cover other companies shouldn't apply to them. Wal-Mart's attempt to rewrite our labour laws to suit them is an affront to all Canadians, and especially by a company found guilty numerous times for unfair labour practices in Canada."

UFCW Canada is one of Canada's largest private sector unions with over 230,000 members from coast to coast in a variety of workplaces. In addition to Weyburn, UFCW Canada has also applied for union certification for Wal-Mart employees in North Battleford and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; for Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express employees at seven locations in British Columbia; and at a Wal-Mart store in Gatineau, Québec.

Workers at Québec Wal-Marts in Jonquière and Saint-Hyacinthe are already certified as UFCW Canada members. Both units are currently in the process of bargaining for a first contract, in spite of Wal-Mart's announcement it intends to close the Jonquière location in early May.
/For further information: Paul Meinema, President UFCW Canada Local 1400, (306) 384-5787 www.ufcw.ca/ IN: ECONOMY, JUSTICE, LABOUR, RETAIL

Contact Information

  • Michael Forman, National Media Coordinator, UFCW CANADA
    Primary Phone: 416-675-1104 ext. 249
    Secondary Phone: 416-579-8330