Gatineau Wal-Mart goes union as UFCW Canada wins first contract
GATINEAU, QC - August 15,2008 - UFCW Canada members at a Wal-Mart location in Gatineau, Quebec have made history by becoming the only Wal-Mart workers in North America to have a union contract, after a Quebec arbitrator imposed a collective agreement on Friday.
The contract raises average wages of the Gatineau Wal-Mart members by more than 30%. Improved vacation provisions are also part of the three-year agreement. The terms of the collective agreement are effective immediately.
"Wal-Mart should now act as a good Canadian corporate citizen," said UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley," and live up to the terms of the contract."
The UFCW Canada Local 486 bargaining unit at the Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express was certified in 2005. The collective agreement was the result of binding arbitration, following almost three years of legal delays and stalled negotiations with the company.
"We believe the arbitrator did a good job and that it is a fair contract, in line with similar workplaces in Quebec," said Hanley.
"It shows that even after three years, workers at Wal-Mart, like all Canadian workers, can exercise their Freedom of Association rights and get a decent collective agreement."
Two more Wal-Mart collective agreements are expected in Quebec before the end of the year, when binding arbitration is complete for bargaining units at a Wal-Mart in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.