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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Message Board

  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Nov 27, 2009 1:36 PM Flag

    WMT not surprised Supreme Court rules it was entitled to close down Quebec store

    WMT not surprised Supreme Court rules it was entitled to close down Quebec store

    CP) – 1 hour ago

    OTTAWA — Wal-Mart Canada says it's not surprised the highest court in the country has ruled the multinational was entitled to close a store in Quebec in 2005 just as employees were about to unionize.

    The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 6-3 margin on Friday that Wal-Mart had the right to shut down the Jonquiere outlet about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City and lay off 190 employees.

    A top Wal-Mart Canada spokesman says the ruling is consistent with previous decisions from a Quebec labour commission and the Quebec Superior Court and Quebec Court of Appeal.

    "The situation in Jonquiere was an unfortunate situation," Andrew Pelletier, the vice-president of corporate affairs, told The Canadian Press.

    "I think most people know that Wal-Mart tried to keep the store open."

    Pelletier added that the company tried to reach a collective agreement but couldn't persuade the union to agree to a contract "to allow this struggling store to continue."

    "And that's what led to the ultimate closure."

    During the Supreme Court hearings earlier this year, the company denied it fired its employees because of union activity.

    The retail giant said the employees were let go simply because the store was shutting down.

    But workers at the outlet said the two events were related.

    Pelletier noted the company has a collective agreement with workers at its outlet in St-Hyacinthe and negotiations are going on in other locations.

    "There are other pockets of activity and we will continue to respect the process and deal with each situation individually," he said.

    Pelletier said the United Food and Commercial Workers Union has applied to unionize stores in the Saskatchewan communities of Weyburn and North Battleford.

    "Those are all either before the courts or the labour board in Saskatchewan being reviewed," he added.

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    • Supreme Court split 6-3 in favor of Wal-Mart

      Canada's top court rules Wal-Mart store entitled to closure
      (AFP) – 1 hour ago

      OTTAWA — Canada's high court on Friday ruled that Wal-Mart was within its rights to close a store in Quebec, soon after it became the first in North America to be unionized in 2005.

      The Supreme Court split 6-3 in favor of the retail giant.

      The majority said Quebec labor laws do not require an employer to remain in business, even if its motives are "socially reprehensible."

      Three dissenting judges countered that tribunals should be able to search out "anti-union animus" in such cases.

      In August 2004, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union was certified to represent employees of Wal-Mart's store in Jonquiere, Quebec -- the first to be unionized in North America.

      But the parties failed to reach a first collective agreement, and the matter was referred to arbitration on the same day, Wal-Mart informed staff of its decision to close the store in April 2005.

      Almost 190 workers were terminated.

      Former employees who lost their jobs as a result of the closure brought the case to the Supreme Court, contesting the decision and saying they lost their jobs because they had formed a union.

      Wal-Mart denied the "union-busting" claim, saying it closed the store for economic reasons.

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