PRESS RELEASE: DECEMBER 18, 2008

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Another Wal-Mart unionized in Quebec

After three-and-a-half years of legal wrangling, over 150 Wal-Mart workers in Hull, Que., have become the latest Canadian “associates” to join the union.

HULL, QC., December 18, 2008 – Over 150 Wal-Mart workers in Hull, Que., have become the ninth group of Canadian “associates” to join the country’s largest private-sector union after a December 17 decision by the Quebec Labour Board awarded bargaining rights for the Hull location to the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW Canada).    “After nine times, the message coming from Wal-Mart workers in Canada to Wal-Mart executives in Bentonville, Arkansas, couldn’t be louder or clearer: Canadian Wal-Mart workers want to be union members,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley.

“Hopefully, this decision will help Wal-Mart to understand that Canada is a place where labour rights are human rights, and where people take their rights very seriously. Hopefully, Wal-Mart won’t squander another chance to prove its critics wrong, and it will take this opportunity to show the world that it believes in human rights by sitting down with these Hull workers to negotiate a contract in good faith,” said Hanley, making reference to Wal-Mart’s past practice of closing stores or departments shortly after becoming unionized. 

The December 17 decision affects the Hull main store, and comes three-and-a-half years after the union originally made an application for certification. The store’s adjoining Tire & Lube Express was certified as a separate bargaining unit in 2005. The labour relations process for the main store was drawn-out by several legal challenges put forward by the company. 

According to Louis Bolduc, executive assistant to the UFCW Canada National President, negotiations for the two Hull Wal-Mart units will commence as soon as possible, but bargaining dates have yet to be scheduled.   

 

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