UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

August 23, 2006 05:17 ET

WORKERS AT STRATFORD CHICK HATCHERY VOTE TO JOIN UFCW CANADA:

COMPANY CRIES FOUL CLAIMING UNIONS PROHIBITED AT ITS SITE BECAUSE IT IS "AGRICULTURAL"

Attention: Agriculture Editor, City Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 23, 2006) -
Workers at a hatching, rendering, packaging and logistics facility in Stratford, Ontario have voted to unionize with UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Canada).

In a vote conducted on Monday by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the OLRB determined after tallying the ballots that a majority of the workers at Stratford Chick Hatchery (SCH) in Stratford, Ontario had voted to join UFCW Canada and appoint the union as their official agent for collective bargaining.

"We want to thank the workers at SCH for choosing UFCW Canada," said Wayne Hanley, the national director of the union, "and welcome them to our family of more than 240,000 members across Canada. We look forward to servicing our newest members and working with them towards a first contract."

Immediately after the vote was announced the company filed an objection with the OLRB, alleging that SCH is an agricultural facility and as such its employees should be specifically excluded from unionizing under a controversial Ontario law . That law, the Agricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA) prohibits agricultural workers from joining unions for collective bargaining. The constitutional validity of the AEPA is currently the focus of an ongoing legal challenge by UFCW Canada.

According to Hanley, "the AEPA is unconstitutional and discriminatory and we will continue to challenge it on behalf of Ontario agricultural workers but that battle is not the issue at SCH. In this case the company is attempting to hide behind a bad piece of legislation that doesn't even apply to their facility."

"SCH is not a farm operation," said Hanley, "but an industrial operation located nowhere near a farm. SCH employees not only screen and process eggs, which is a job covered by UFCW Canada agreements in other plants, but SCH also operates as a rendering facility, and a warehousing and delivery service which are all industrial activities."

An OLRB determination hearing will likely be held some time before the end of next week to review arguments from the company and the union.

UFCW Canada is one of Canada's largest private sector unions with locals across the country representing workers in food processing, warehousing, retailing; security, hotel and hospitality services; health care and residential services, and in a variety of other commercial and professional sectors.

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CONTACT:

Michael Forman, UFCW Canada National Communications
416-675-1104 x249 office
416-579-8330 cell
mforman@ufcw.ca

IN: AGRICULTURE, FOOD, JUSTICE, LABOUR, POLITICS

Contact Information

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