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Second Canadian Wal-Mart Store Gets Union Certification

BY CSA STAFF

Toronto, Asecond Wal-Mart store in Quebec received union certification after a majority of the store’s employees signed cards indicating the Canadian arm of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union was their official agent for collective bargaining, the union said.

Andrew Pelletier, spokesman for Wal-Mart Canada, said the company is reviewing all of its options, including a legal challenge to the decision by the Quebec Labour Relations Commission that automatically certified the union after the majority of the 200 employees of the store, located in the town of Ste. Hyacinthe, signed union cards. In remarks to Dow Jones Newswires, Pelletier said the store associates were not given the opportunity to express their views about the union in a democratic, secret-ballot vote.

The union and Wal-Mart Canada, a unit of Wal-Mart Stores, already are negotiating a contract for another store in Quebec. The store was automatically certified in August. An arbitrator was appointed at Wal-Mart’s request and meeting dates have been scheduled through March 15.

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Friedman’s Files Chapter 11

BY CSA STAFF

Savannah, Ga., Jewelry retailer Friedman’s filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 on behalf of the company and nine of its subsidiaries. The company said the filing should provide it with the breathing room necessary to complete financial restructuring initiatives it embarked upon more than five months ago.

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Blockbuster Still Committed to Hollywood Entertainment

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas, Blockbuster announced that it remains committed to pursuing an acquisition of Hollywood Entertainment despite the recent announcement of the entry into a definitive merger agreement by Hollywood and Movie Gallery.

“We are disappointed that the special committee of Hollywood’s board of directors elected to enter into a merger agreement with Movie Gallery without giving Blockbuster a fair opportunity to participate in the auction process,” said John Antioco, Blockbuster chairman and CEO. “While it no longer makes sense at this time for Blockbuster to commence a tender offer at $11.50 per share in light of the Movie Gallery agreement, we are evaluating the price that Blockbuster would be willing to offer for Hollywood in light of various factors, including the termination fee to Movie Gallery that is included in the merger agreement.”

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