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UNITE HERE launches Nationwide Campaign
28
Aug '08
The Quebec Council of UNITE HERE will launch a nationwide campaign, after residential carpet manufacturer Beaulieu Canada threatened to close the plant if workers did not accept severe concessions to wages and benefits during contract negotiations.

The workers, represented by UNITE HERE, refused to be bullied and voted overwhelmingly to reject the company's insulting final contract offer.

UNITE HERE supporters will be begin leafleting Home Depot stores in Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Vancouver and Winnipeg in order to notify customers of Beaulieu Canada's plans to close the Acton Vale Quebec plant.

Home Depot is a major customer of Beaulieu Canada and prominently features Beaulieu products in its stores and catalogues.

"The workers rejected Beaulieu Canada's final offer because they refused to be bullied by threats of closure but the workers are committed to coming to a reasonable negotiated settlement," said Lina Aristeo, Director of the Quebec Council of UNITE HERE and a Vice President of the Quebec Federation of Labour.

"Instead of returning to the negotiating table, Beaulieu Canada simply decided to close the plant. This is outrageous and unfair to the many employees who have given decades of their lives to this plant."

The 300 workers at Beaulieu Canada, whose average age is 45, have been without a contract since November 2006 and began a strike on July 15, 2008.

On Wednesday August 20, Beaulieu employees voted by 91.5% to reject the latest company offer, which included a 20% wage cut, cutbacks in hours of work, a claw back of holidays, vacation days and vacation pay, as well as reduced contributions to the collective insurance program.

"UNITE HERE members at Beaulieu are determined to stop the closure of their plant and return to the negotiating table with their employer," said Alex Dagg, co-Director of UNITE HERE Canada.

"Threats have no place in collective bargaining and our members across Canada are ready to stand up and let customers like Home Depot know about the behaviour of Beaulieu Canada."

UNITE HERE

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