PRESS RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 19, 2005

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Wal-Mart found guilty in Quebec store closure:

Labour board rules closing Jonquiere Wal-Mart store was reprisal against unionized workers

MONTREAL, September 16, 2005  The Québec Labour Relations Board has ruled today in favour of former Wal-Mart workers, following the closing of the Jonquière store.

In April, Wal-Mart management closed the Jonquière store, letting go more than one hundred workers who had succeeded, after a long struggle, in securing union certification. Wal-Mart announced the store closing while negotiation of an initial collective agreement was still underway.

Following Wal-Mart's decision, 79 complaints for illegal dismissal were filed against the corporation. After hearing four representative cases, the Board concluded that Wal-Mart had acted illegally and had dismissed workers for engaging in union activity.

UFCW local 503 is pleased with the Labour Relations Board's decision. The President of the Québec Council of UFCW, Yvon Bellemare said: "Wal-Mart clearly closed this store because the workers succeeded in unionizing. The Labour Relations Board's decision once again exposes the multinational's anti-union attitude. The momentum is picking up. Wal-Mart employees now realize that if they want a union in their store, Wal-Mart may attempt to but can't stop them." Quebec Federation of Labor President Henri Massé hails the victory: "We are now calling on Wal-Mart to abide by the Board's decision and not to start legal guerilla tactics by appealing it."

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