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Saskatchewan court rules against Wal-Mart in labour battle

Globe and Mail

SASKATOON  Retail giant Wal-Mart has lost its battle to have the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board prohibited from hearing cases related to efforts to unionize stores in the province.

In a written decision, Queen's Bench Justice Frank Gerein said there was "absolutely no evidence" of attempts to interfere with the operations of the labour board or to require members of the board to read certain union documents that were highly critical of Wal-Mart.

"It is impossible to conclude that bias exists within the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board," Judge Gerein said.

Wal-Mart had tried to argue the board was biased and should be prohibited from dealing with cases related to the chain.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has applied to the labour relations board for certification to represent workers at Wal-Mart stores in Weyburn, North Battleford and Moose Jaw.

But those applications have been delayed by legal wrangling.

Andrew Pelletier, vice-president of corporate affairs with Wal-Mart Canada, said the company is "reviewing the [Gerein] decision and considering possibly appealing to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal."

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