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Wal-Mart loses round in Gatineau union fight

December 6, 2006

Ottawa SunBy Canadian Press

MONTREAL  Wal-Mart has lost a battle in the Quebec Court of Appeal to fight the unionization of its store in Gatineau.

The worlds largest retailer wanted the court to order the provinces labour relations board to order a secret ballot by the stores employees. But the court refused to hear the appeal. The board ordered the certification of one United Food and Commercial Workers local after between 35 and 50 per cent of workers signed union cards.

The local withdrew its union request in May 2005. But another local submitted its request for accreditation the following day. The labour board cancelled a union vote because the original local had withdrawn its request.

Wal-Mart challenged that decision, saying it should have been allowed to present arguments on the legality of the withdrawal.

A company lawyer said the union cant withdraw the vote without the employers consent.

Wal-Mart spokesman Yanik Deschenes said the company is "disappointed and surprised" by the court decision and is seriously considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Union spokesman Louis Bolduc called the decision a victory and said the labour board can deal with the accreditation effort of the second local.


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