Calgary – July 3, 2013 – Lucerne Lab Technicians in Alberta are celebrating today after becoming the newest group of employees to join the union by voting “Yes!” to UFCW Canada Local 401.
The victorious effort by the new Lucerne members started after a Local 401 representative for the Lucerne Milk Plant spoke to the Union’s Organizing Team about including the plant’s Lab Technicians in the current bargaining unit. While the rest of the workers at the plant are Local 401 members, the Lab Technicians had been excluded from the bargaining unit by the company, and were therefore not members.
At the time, the rest of the workplace was involved in contract negotiations with the employer and very close to getting a deal, so the timing of the drive was good because the Lab Technicians stood to gain the benefits of a new collective agreement.
Local 401 organizer Joe Irving applied for a modification to the bargaining unit’s current certificate and demonstrated to the Labour Board that sufficient support from the Lab Technicians existed to hold a vote for inclusion. The Board agreed with the Union’s arguments, stating the Lab Technicians had been historically under bargained and did not perform supervisory rolls at the plant.
Voting took place on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at the plant for one hour. The Lab Technicians voted unanimously in favour of joining UFCW Local 401 and will soon receive the benefits and protections that their coworkers have long enjoyed.
“The Lab Technicians are excited to finally be members of UFCW Local 401,” said Union Organizer Joe Irving. “The Technicians know that their membership in the Union will ensure that they are treated fairly and provided with a decent living wage. I’m glad that a group who had been excluded from a bargaining unit and saw the union advantage to which they did not have access, were provided with an opportunity to join the Union and receive that advantage.”