Union Recognition in Couche-Tard convenience stores - Quebec and Norvegian Unions join forces OSLO, Norway, April 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Confédération des syndicats nationaux (Canada) and the The Norwegian union of commercial and office employees, HK-Norway , are planning to join forces in their efforts to defend and win union recognition in the convenience stores owned by the corporation Couche-Tard. A first meeting to exchange ideas in this regard was held on Monday and Tuesday in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The Norwegian labour organization HK-Norway represents some 263 employees in several Norwegian convenience stores, which do business under the Statoil banner, recently acquired by Couche-Tard. On this side of the Atlantic, the CSN represents about 100 employees in eight Quebec outlets. In the Province of Quebec, Couche-Tard has been making life difficult for any employees who wish to join a Union and negotiate their working conditions. The company has employed a variety of coercive tactics to discourage them, as well as various legal manoeuvres to delay, delay, delay. In Norway, the labour organization HK-Norway has announced that it plans to defend the rights of unionized employees and that Couche-Tard will have to recognize the existing Unions who have negotiated collective agreements in the past with the company Statoil, from whom Couche-Tard acquired its chain of convenience stores. Thumbs down to union recognition The CSN was represented by its General Secretary, Jean Lortie. The latter explained the many difficulties encountered by Quebec workers in their attempts to organize a union and defend their rights."What they are seeking above all are decent working conditions; and collective bargaining is the path they have chosen. Couche-Tard refuses to recognize their Unions. Seldom, in the Province of Quebec, have we witnessed any employer deploy so much energy to combat unionization, underlines Jean Lortie. The employees who wish to join a Union have no choice but to do so in secret, for fear of reprisals. Once unionized, Couche-Tard has closed down profitable outlets and transferred others to franchisees, all in an attempt to shirk their obligations. It's unacceptable in the Province of Quebec and it is equally unacceptable in Norway." The Norwegian State is a shareholder The labour organization HK-Norway recalls that the right to join a Union has been recognized internationally as a fundamental human right. "We believe that we have the responsibility to envisage every and all means necessary to bring the offending companies to heel. In this connection, we are asking the Norwegian Government to ensure that the Government Global Pension Fund play its role as an active investor in Couche-Tard, in which it is shareholder. It has done so in the past with several companies, for example WalMart, to get them to change their practices. Couche-Tard will have to recognize the Unions chosen democratically by its employees" says Torbjørn Brox Webber, HK's National Secretary. Meanwhile, HK-Norway representatives have vowed their solidarity towards Quebec Couche-Tard employees whose working conditions are at the bottom of the heap. They were surprised to learn that Couche-Tard has been the subject of more complaints submitted by employees for violations of the Province's minimum work standards legislation than WalMart. The impossibility of having their rights enforced is one of the key reasons that motivate workers to join a Union. Unionized Quebec Couche-Tard workers are currently negotiating in a relatively difficult context. They are notably seeking four paid sick days per year, psychological support services for any employee who is a victim of an armed attack and a safe and hygienic working environment. HK-Norway counts some 65.000 members. HK-Norway is affiliate to LO who count approximately 900.000 members. The CSN, numbers approximately 300,000 members in Canada, primarily in the Province of Quebec. Jean-Pierre Larche, CSN-Communications (514) 605-0757 SOURCE: CSN To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2013/17/c5997.html CO: CSN ST: Quebec NI: LABOR RET LABOR LBR -0- Apr/17/2013 11:19 GMT
Union Recognition in Couche-Tard convenience stores - Quebec and Norvegian Unions join forces
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.