Sunday, August 31, 2008

Canadian Wal-Mart workers win contract (starting pay goes from $8.40 to $10.89 per hour)

On Aug. 15, a Canadian Wal-Mart located in Gatineau, Quebec, was forced to honor a three-year contract for employees working in its lube and tire department. It is the only Wal-Mart in North America to have a union contract in place.

The workers, organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, will see an increase in their starting wages from $8.40 to $10.89 per hour. Although there are still 200 non-union workers at the same location, the workers have scored an important victory in the struggle to organize the world’s largest retailer.

This is not the first time the anti-union giant has been ordered to honor union contracts. In 2000, 11 meat cutters working at a Texas Wal-Mart won union recognition. Shortly thereafter Wal-Mart, Inc., eliminated the positions in 180 stores in six states, claiming lack of profits.

Wal-Mart recently reported profits of $3.45 billion—up 17 percent from $2.95 billion a year ago.

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