Wal-Mart: union progress in Canada
I’m grateful to union-friendly academic John Logan for alerting me to a report on Bloomberg (and there’s another on the union web page) that the UFCW is claiming victory in a unionisation campaign for workers at the Wal-Mart store in Weyburn, Saskatchewan – a struggle which began FOUR years ago!
Wal-Mart is well known (sorry, that should be infamous) in the global trade union movement, for refusing to allow unionisation. In Britain, the GMB has recognition in Asda, and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions has representation in Chinese Wal-Mart stores, albeit in a rather different context. (Although I’ve met some of the union reps in those stores with GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny, and Paul says their stories – about autocratic management and what local unions have to do to fight back -are just like the stories he hears from his Asda reps.) In Canada, Wal-Mart have closed outlets rather than accept unionisation, and are still fighting this latest decision, but have had to accept unionisation in some stores in Quebec. There’s a lot more on union campaigns around Wal-Mart on the web – especially back home in the USA – and this one will run and run.