UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

July 19, 2005 14:37 ET

WAL-MART WORKERS SEEK UNION DESPITE COMPANY INTIMIDATION:

B.C. LABOUR BOARD RULING A VICTORY FOR WAL-MART WORKERS Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - July 19, 2005) - Wal-Mart employees in British Columbia continue to seek out union representation, despite the narrow defeat of a union certification vote last week.

The close outcome of the vote for union representation of Tire & Lube Express employees at seven Wal-Mart stores across B.C. (28 for-32 against), in conjunction with a strong B.C. Labour Relations Board (LRB) ruling against Wal-Mart, is yet another clear indication that growing numbers of Wal-Mart employees wish to be represented by UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada).

The LRB ruling last week against Wal-Mart allows employees from various departments in the store to join the union, rather than only on a store-wide basis. This in turn will make it easier for Wal-Mart employees to join the union without fear of retaliation from the company.
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"Wal-Mart workers continue to contact us, despite Wal-Mart's well-documented intimidation tactics and hostility whenever their employees inquire about a union," says Brooke Sundin, President of UFCW Canada Local 1518 in British Columbia. "The LRB ruling is going to make it that much easier for Wal-Mart workers to exercise their legal rights to join the union."

"This vote was tight in spite of the fact that Wal-Mart spends millions upon millions of dollars on lawyers and all kinds of legal and illegal activities to keep the union out, and intimidates their employees from joining the union," said Sundin.

"Two or three years ago, we wouldn't have come anywhere near this close," Sundin said. "Now, we've lost a very close vote, and Wal-Mart employees continue to contact us. We're working to educate Wal-Mart employees about the advantages that come with having a real voice in the workplace, and the closeness of this vote shows we're making real progress."

UFCW Canada is one of Canada's largest private sector unions and leads the campaign for a voice in the workplace for Wal-Mart workers. Currently Wal-Mart employees in Gatineau, Quebec and Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec have been certified as bargaining units and are in the process of negotiating a first collective agreement. Applications to represent employees at three other Wal-Mart locations in Saskatchewan are also pending.

-30- /For further information: Also see: ufcw1518.com/ IN: ECONOMY, JUSTICE, LABOUR, RETAIL

Contact Information

  • Andy Neufeld, Communications, UFCW CANADA Local 1518
    Primary Phone: 604-434-3101
    E-mail: aneufeld@ufcw1518.com