The hard casing on the corporate shell is starting to crack. There was another painful loss for Wal-Mart this week in its always-present campaign to keep the company non-union. A second Wal-Mart in the town of Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec has had a union certified, after the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) managed to successfully gather a majority of the 200 workers at the store to sign union cards. The union and Wal-Mart are still negotiating a first union contract for a store in Jonquiere, Quebec. Wal-Mart claims that the Jonquiere store has not been profitable since it opened several years back. The head of Wal-Mart Canada said his company might appeal the certification decision by the Quebec Labor Relations Commission. Wal-Mart has called the unionization process in Canada “undemocratic.” “Once again,” a Wal-Mart spokesman complained, “we have a situation where our Quebec associates were not given the opportunity to express their views about the union in a democratic, secret-ballot vote. Instead, the union has been automatically certified at the Saint Hyacinthe store without a vote. This concerns us because we believe the only way to ensure associates can express their views without coercion or intimidation is by allowing a secret-ballot vote to take place.” Wal-Mart claims that workers in two Saskatchewan Wal-Marts were coerced into signing union cards. Wal-Mart complained that the “card-based certification process”, which does not occur in the U.S., “can be open to serious abuse.” “The momentum is picking up,” said the UFCW Canada’s national director. He told reporters that Wal-Mart workers now realize that if they want a union in their store, Wal-Mart can’t stop them.
For earlier stories on this subject, search Newsflash by “unions.”