Wal-Mart application dismissed by Supreme CourtTORONTO, April 19, 2007 - For the second time in two years the Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal application to hear arguments from Wal-Mart Canada challenging the legitimacy of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) to rule on a UFCW Canada union certification application for a Wal-Mart store in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
In dismissing Wal-Mart's application, the Supreme Court also ordered the company to pay the union's legal costs.
According to Wayne Hanley, the National President of UFCW Canada, "today's decision should hopefully put an end to Wal-Mart's three years of legal stalling tactics. We now look forward to the SLRB rendering their decision expeditiously as possible."
In January 2007 Wal-Mart made a Leave to Appeal application to the Supreme Court of Canada after its previous appeals failed at the provincial court level to disqualify the SLRB on ruling on any Wal-Mart certification application. This direct challenge of the labour board was an attempt to derail the SLRB from finally rendering its decision on an application for unionization of the Wal-Mart store in Weyburn.
The union application was originally filed in April 2004. The hearings that followed concluded in December 2005 after a series of Wal-Mart legal challenges, including an earlier Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada which was dismissed in April 2005.
Further legal actions by Wal-Mart continued to stall the decision process throughout 2006.
"Wal-Mart has said if their workers want a union they can have one," said Hanley, "so Wal-Mart should now stop delaying and listen to their workers and to the courts."
Applications are also pending for Wal-Mart locations in Moose Jaw and North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Currently workers at Wal-Mart locations in Gatineau and Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec are also members of UFCW Canada. Binding arbitration leading to a first contract is currently underway for both the main store in Saint-Hyacinthe, as well as the Tire and Lube Express shop there.
UFCW Canada is one of Canada's largest private sector unions with more than 240,000 members across the country.