International fashion house H&M has penned the first-ever collective agreement for staff at its store in Joliette, Que. – also the first location in the province to unionize.
On Nov. 2, sales advisors represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 500 signed their very first contract with the company. As part of the new deal, which expires in 2016, retail staff will get pay rate protection regardless of employment status, as well as improved personal leave provisions for part-timers.
“By joining an international union that is recognized for its expertise in the retail sector, not only did the sales advisors at the H&M store improve their power relationship with their employer, they also empowered themselves with a strong voice to negotiate a strong collective agreement. By having a seat at the bargaining table, they were able to be part of the solution,” said Antonio Filato, president of the local chapter.
The Quebec-based store is the second in the country to unionize – the first being an H&M in Mississauga, Ont., which certified back in 2011.
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