Furniture makers that closed due to union 'intend to live their faith,' lawyer says
Gingrich Woodcraft lawyer tells Ontario Labour Relations Board that situation is unfortunate
Unifor filed complaints of unfair labour practice and starting an illegal lockout against Gingrich Woodcraft last week. The complaints were filed after the company unexpectedly closed within days of its workers voting to unionize.
In a statement, Gingrich Woodcraft said that as Christian business owners, their personal beliefs do not allow them freedom to work with a labour union.
- Unifor files labour board complaints against northern Ontario furniture maker
- Fort Frances-area Gingrich Woodcraft cites faith for closure after workers vote to join union
"My clients feel that this is an unfortunate situation," said Daniel Matson, the lawyer for the company's owners, said at the labour board hearing.
"They feel bad that [workers] lost their jobs, but they intend to live their faith."
Negotiations between Unifor and the company were continuing at the hearing on Monday afternoon.
The company may have trouble defending that statement before the labour board, according to a expert in trade union law in Canada.
The labour board often awards damages to the union and the employees who lost their jobs, Lynk said.
However, the labour board generally will not try to force a company to reopen, he said.
Gingrich Woodcraft, which employed 25 workers, had been in business for 18 years.