Unionization at Wal-Mart Canada Store One Step Closer

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- 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 a ruling to let a store in Weyburn, Saskatchewan become unionized.

In dismissing Wal-Mart's application, the Supreme Court also ordered the company to pay the union's legal costs, according to a statement from UFCW Canada.

"Today's decision should hopefully put an end to Wal-Mart's three years of legal stalling tactics," said Wayne Hanley, the national president of UFCW Canada, in the statement. "We now look forward to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board 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.

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.
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