Wal-Mart runs afoul of Sask. labour laws
A Wal-Mart store in Weyburn, Sask., has been found guilty of unfair labour practices over its handling of a union's effort to communicate with workers.
The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board's decision was recently published to an online legal database.
A union drive at the Weyburn Wal-Mart, by the United Food and Commercial Workers, has been the subject of a lengthy court battle.
While the union has been certified, it has yet to achieve a first collective agreement.
In the latest legal skirmish, the union had three complaints:
- The union claimed Wal-Mart was not telling new employees that the Weyburn store had been unionized.
- The union said Wal-Mart was withholding information about wages paid to workers.
- The union said Wal-Mart refused to let non-employee union officials enter the workplace to communicate to employees.
The board found Wal-Mart had committed violations in relation to the first two complaints, and also in some respects of the third one.
On the third complaint, the union said its officials were ordered to stay away from the store, or face trespassing charges.
Officials were sent a letter, quoted by the board:
"This is to provide further notice to you that any UFCW representative found violating this notice will be charged pursuant to the provisions of The Trespass to Property Act.
"As you know, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. will continue to insist on its existing legal rights. As such, it appears that your stated intentions can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to provoke an incident for publicity purposes."
The board said the union does not have an unfettered right to simply show up and have the run of the workplace, but added it did have some rights to communicate with workers, such as reviewing postings on bulletin boards.
In the end, the store was ordered to change its ways or — in conjunction with the union — work out ways to restore the union's rights.