'This is a huge victory for Walmart workers and their ability to freely communicate on the Internet.' - Wayne Hanley.
Ottawa (20 Dec. 2010) – The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) is declaring victory in an 18-month free speech battle with Walmart.
The dispute centred on the labour rights website www.walmartworkerscanada.ca.
In June 2009, the world’s largest retailer filed a motion with the Quebec Superior Court for an injunction against the popular and long-standing website maintained by UFCW Canada, citing trade-mark infringement.
On Dec. 15 a confidential settlement was reached allowing www.walmartworkerscanada.ca to continue its commitment to communicate with Walmart workers in Canada about their labour rights, including their rights to unionize.
“This is a huge victory for Walmart workers and their ability to freely communicate on the Internet,” says Wayne Hanley, national president of UFCW Canada.
The website will continue to be dedicated to helping Walmart workers to empower themselves and improve their lives through collective bargaining, Hanley says.
“Despite the best efforts of the world’s largest corporation to dictate the terms of online communication, (the website) will remain an excellent labour rights resource, and will proudly continue a seven-year tradition of serving Walmart associates as a place where they can learn about their rights and how to exercise those rights as workers in Canada,” he adds.
“This victory also ensures that www.walmartworkerscanada.ca will remain a safe and familiar place for Walmart workers to freely share their experiences with other 'associates' (the term Walmart uses to describe its low-paid workers) across the country without any fear of reprisal.”
UFCW Canada has been leading the campaign to help Walmart workers exercise their rights as workers in Canada for over a decade. The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has worked with UFCW Canada for many years to advance the cause of organizing Walmart workers across Canada and to promote the cause of workers' rights generally.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE