About 200 workers at Ecco Heating Products in Calgary voted to join Teamsters, Local 362 in early August.
More than 80 per cent voted in favour of unionizing. Overall turnout was close to 90 per cent with about 150 workers casting secret ballots in the first 90 minutes after voting began, says the union.
One major irritant was company policy, enforced by a new manager, of forcing workers to operate multiple machines at once, which was perceived as unsafe. Another was the way he bragged about the company breaking productivity records while refusing to offer wage increases to anyone, says Teamsters.
After workers voted to unionize, the company fired the manager at the centre of the turmoil, says the union.
“Workers at Ecco Heating felt disrespected and were being treated like cheap, disposable labour,” says Lukas Eichel-Fominov, a business agent with Teamsters Local Union 362. “When they decided to stand up, unite and speak as one loud voice, the results were immediate.”
The local is planning on holding nominations and elections for spots on the union bargaining committee and shop steward positions. It is also working on securing dates for proposal meetings and negotiations as well as facilitating union training for the new members, says Teamsters.
Ecco Heating manufactures sheet metal for heating and HVAC systems.
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