Quebec union sues employer after it closes one of its stores

Union says the company is intimidating workers province-wide who want to join union
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/05/2011

The Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) in Quebec isfiling a lawsuit against chain convenience store Couche-Tard after the companyclosed one of its stores that was awaiting certification with the union.

In the claim filed to Quebec’s Labour Relations Commissionyesterday, CSN alleges that the company closed the store to intimidate workerswho wanted to form a union. Eleven employees were laid off when the companyclosed the store in early April.

In the lawsuit, CSN is asking that each employee receive oneyear's salary plus one month's salary per year of service as compensation. The union is also asking for $35,000 to be paid toeach employee for moral damages, and $ 50,000 for exemplary damages.

The CSN claims that by firing these employees, theCommission should condemn the company because it has violated the Quebec’s Labour Code and Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The first Couche-Tard store joined the union in earlyFebruary 2011. To date, four stores belonging to the chain have joined the CSN.The union won’t indicate how many outlets have expressed interest in organizing.

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