January 20, 2009 17:46 ET
Workers vs. Wal-Mart at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, January 21st
Former workers at a Wal-Mart in Jonquière, Quebec finally get their day in court four years after Wal-Mart shut their store after it unionized
Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor
OTTAWA - MEDIA ADVISORY FOR JAN 21 / OTTAWA--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2009) -
ATTENTION: OTTAWA/NCR NEWS AND ASSIGNMENT EDITORS FOR WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21
On January 21, former UFCW Canada Local 503 members at a Wal-Mart in Jonquière, Quebec will finally get their day in court four years after Wal-Mart shut their store.
In April 2005, Wal-Mart terminated all the workers and shut the Jonquière store after arbitration for a first contract between Wal-Mart and UFCW Canada Local 503 had been mandated by the province. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear arguments that the workers' Freedom of Association rights to form a union, guaranteed under the Charter, were violated when Wal-Mart closed the store.
At an earlier Quebec Labour Commission hearing, Wal-Mart denied it shut the Jonquière store because of union activity - saying it shut the store because it was losing money. The Supreme Court will hear the same defense from Wal-Mart: that a business has the right to close a store because of "good and sufficient" reasons.
"This isn't whether Wal-Mart has the right to close a store," said UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. "It's about Wal-Mart shutting down the Charter rights of 200 Canadian workers."
"As Canadians, what's more important to us? The business rights of some multinational corporation or the human rights of Canadian workers and their families here at home?"
The case was brought forward by five appellants who had all worked at the Jonquiere store. The decision by the Supreme Court is expected before September.
UFCW Canada is Canada's largest private-sector union with over 250,000 members coast to coast.
Supreme Court of Canada - Case Information
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Supreme Court of Canada — Case Information
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