McDonald's workers decertify union

Workers at a McDonald's restaurant in Squamish, B.C. have voted to disband their union. Unofficial results indicate more than half the employees voted to decertify.

The vote comes ten months after the Canadian Auto Workers became the bargaining agent for the fast food staff.

Even the workers who supported the union seemed resigned to losing the vote before it was taken. It was just last summer that the CAW won the right to represent the employees. And it became the first unionized McDonald's in North America.

Yet even before the final count was in, CAW President Buzz Hargrove was playing down the implications of losing the battle.

Hargrove says with more than 200,000 members, losing fewer than 100 won't make a big difference to the CAW. "We're not staying awake at night trying to figure out how to win McDonald's. The question for us as a union is, 'can we help McDonald's workers better their working conditions and standard of living?' And the answer is yes."

Hargrove says even though they never signed a collective agreement, the employees won better treatment and respect in the workplace. He's hoping workers in other McDonald's outlets will see that, and come to the CAW for help.

Some analysts believe unions need to recruit more young service industry workers to survive. This latest setback doesn't make that any easier.