Weyburn Wal-Mart wins appeal to count union decertification votes
A Wal-Mart store in Weyburn, Sask., has won an appeal to count a vote taken by workers two years ago, which could potentially decertify its existing union.
On Monday, the Court of Appeal ruled with Wal-Mart to have a union decertification vote, which had been set aside, counted.
Food and Commercial Workers Local 1400 had first applied for certification in 2004, but was unsuccessful.
For the past eight years the union has been involved in a lengthy court battle with the department store.
Another certification had been issued by the Saskatchewan Labour Board in December 2008, and the union won the right to represent the workers in 2010.
That same year, more than 50 workers took a decertification vote, which was not tabulated.
With the court's ruling, that vote can now be counted.
Despite certification, the union has yet to achieve a first collective bargaining agreement.
"It's disappointing, but we're still going to do the best we can to get our members at the Weyburn Wal-Mart a collective agreement," said Norm Neault, president of Food and Commercial Workers union.
"That's what this is all about. Once they have a collective agreement in front of them with Wal-Mart, they then can make an informed decision whether or not they would like to remain within the union or not to remain within the union."
There are about 120 people currently working for the Weyburn Wal-Mart, located about 115 kilometres southeast of Regina.
Neault said the union is fighting for several things in its first contract, including wage increases, benefit increases, job security, layoff provisions and sick days.
Neault said he wants the case to be presented before the Supreme Court of Canada, for which the union has 60 days to apply.
"I think it's very important because it's the right of individuals to be able to follow the law and for corporations not to be above the law," he said. "I think it's important just to uphold the rights of unions to organize and be able to get collective agreements."
He said he has asked the Court of Appeal to stay the vote until a decision to hear the case has been made by the Supreme Court.
Neault said there are no other unionized Wal-Mart stores in Canada.