Baker & McKenzie Advises Wal-Mart on the Dismissal of Union Certification Application and Unfair Labor Charges
1 August 2011
Ontario, Canada, 1 August 2011- Baker & McKenzie lawyers Bill Watson and George Avraam (Toronto) helped Wal-Mart persuade the Ontario Labour Relations Board to dismiss a Certification Application by the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (“UFCW”) to represent employees of a Wal-Mart store in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, as well as the dismissal of unfair labor practice complaints filed by each side related to alleged activities leading up to and during the election process.
On March 2005, the UFCW filed a Certification Application to represent Wal-Mart employees at a Windsor, Ontario store. A Representation/Certification vote took place on March 8, 2005, with an overwhelming number of employees voting against the union. The union then filed an unfair labour practice complaint against Wal-Mart raising various allegations and seeking extensive and extraordinary relief, not just for the Windsor store but for all Wal-Mart outlets in Ontario, and a second Representation Vote in Windsor.
Relying on our extensive labor relations experience, in July 2011, the Baker & McKenzie team was able to obtain the dismissal of the union’s unfair labor practice charges and its Certification Application, bringing an end to one of the highest-profile and longest-running matters before the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Bill Watson commented on the case, “Contending with union organizing efforts and unfair labor practice charges is always challenging. Our clients have to act quickly when a certification application is filed to effectively communicate their position to employees and, at the same time, ensure compliance with complex labor relations laws, regulations and Labour Board procedures. In this case, our client successfully managed these priorities.”