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Wal-Mart Canada Employees Say 'Non' to Union

JONQUIERE, Quebec - Wal-Mart Canada employees here rejected unionization by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union late Friday, Dow Jones Business News reports. According to the UFCW Canada Web site, the vote against union representation was 74 to 65.

"We're not going away," responded Michael J. Fraser, UFCW Canada's national director in a written statement. "The Jonquiere workers who want a union can make a new application here in a few months."

Fraser observed that the Saskatchewan Labour Board is about to rule on another application for unionization at a Wal-Mart store in North Battleford in that province.

In a press release today Wal-Mart said, "[Our] associates chose, once again, to deal directly with their company instead of opting for third-party representation."

Last June Wal-Mart associates at a Thompson, Manitoba store voted against union representation by 61 to 54. None of Wal-Mart stores worldwide is unionized.

In other Wal-Mart news, a computer hardware problem last week resulted in more than 800,000 credit and debit card transactions to be double- or triple-billed at the retailer's stores nationwide, according to the Associated Press. Staci Busby, spokeswoman for Denver-based electronic payments processor First Data Corp., said yesterday that the excess charges on MasterCard and Visa accounts had been reversed. She didn't know the details of the hardware problem or how many customers were affected, but she did say Wal-Mart was the only retailer involved. Anyone who conducted a transaction Wednesday with a Visa or Mastercard at one of the chain's stores should check their statements, she suggested.

The errors were posted to customers' accounts on Thursday. "First Data corrected the problem as soon as we discovered it," Busby noted. She said besides publicizing a toll-free hot line, First Data was contacting affected customers. She added some people might not see the reversed charges on their accounts until tomorrow.
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