Earlier this week, the Alberta Labour Relations Board released their first new applications report of October. In it was an application from Local 401 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, where they claim that a Calgary employer interfere with their efforts to unionize workers.
In their application, dated 25 September 2023, UFCW claims that the employer, JYSK Linen ‘n and Furniture Ltd., approached workers and tried to “compel them from becoming members of a trade union”.
According to UFCW’s application, JYSK went so far as to demote one of their workers because “his role as a union supporter and his efforts in advancing the union’s certification process”.
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Local 401 alleges that these actions violated several sections of the Labour Relations Code, including 148(1)(a)(ii), which reads:
No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall participate in or interfere with the representation of employees by a trade union
They also claimed it violated several parts of section 149(1)(a):
No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall refuse to employ or to continue to employ any person or discriminate against any person in regard to employment or any term or condition of employment because the person is a member of a trade union or an applicant for membership in a trade union, has indicated in writing the person’s selection of a trade union to be the bargaining agent on the person’s behalf, [or] has exercised any right under this Act
as well as section 149(1)(c):
No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall seek by intimidation, dismissal, threat of dismissal, or any other kind of threat, by the imposition of a pecuniary or other penalty or by any other means, to compel an employee to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member, officer, or representative of a trade union
The workers have retained the Edmonton law firm Chivers Carpenter for representation in this case. The union-side firm specializes in labour, employment, and human rights law and has assigned Kelly Nychka and Allison Purdon to the case.
The labour relations board has scheduled a hearing for this case for tomorrow, where the JYSK’s representatives will have a chance to defend their actions.
ALRB doesn’t archive their new applications reports, so I’ve included a copy below for your convenience.