Montreal union forced to share offer details with members

Judgment is a first for province after hotel workers demand to vote on offer
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/04/2011

A group of Montreal hotel employees will vote tomorrow on an offer made by the hotel to their union, the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, more than six months ago. A decision handed down by the Superior Court of Quebec is forcing the union to allow its members to vote on the agreement.

This is the first time in Quebec a union has been instructed by a court to allow its members to vote on an employer’s offer and could transform union culture in the province.

According to the ruling, made on April 20, Marriott Château Champlain hotel management had distributed letters to employees outlining details of their offer prior to meeting with the union. In turn, the union accused the hotel of interfering with negotiations and filed a complaint with the Quebec Labour Court.

Subsequently, the union indicated to hotel management on Oct. 27, 2010 that they would not submit the offer to its 230 members and no general assembly would take place. The employees petitioned the union a week later, but were refused details of the offer.

After hiring a lawyer, employees took the union to the Superior Court to force the union to provide them with the specifics of theoffer.

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