Delta Brunswick Hotel Violated Labour Law, 'Poisoned' Workplace

"All these employees have asked for is respect, dignity and a fair deal," union says following labour board ruling.

SAINT JOHN, Dec. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - The Delta Brunswick Hotel violated provincial labour law and created a "poisoned work environment" for employees trying to negotiate a new collective agreement, the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board has ruled.

The labour board's ruling, released this week, has found hotel owner Fortis Properties violated the Industrial Relations Act in August and September.

The company created a poisoned work environment and interfered in the representation of employees by their union, the United Steelworkers (USW), the labour board says.

"This ruling is vindication for our union and our members," said Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario. "All these employees have asked for is respect, dignity and a fair deal from their employer."

"Rather than focus on good-faith negotiations, this company engaged in conduct that violated our labour laws and subjected employees to a poisoned workplace," said Lawrence McKay, the USW's Atlantic Canada Co-ordinator.

The labour board has ordered Fortis Properties to post the ruling on the hotel's premises and to circulate the ruling to all employees.

The board has ruled that Fortis violated labour law in the days prior to a Sept. 24, board-supervised vote by employees on the company's last contract offer.

The labour board has nullified the Sept. 24 vote and ordered a new vote on the hotel's contract offer. Results of the Sept. 24 vote were sealed by the board following the USW's labour law complaint against Fortis.

The board is expected to set a date soon for the new vote.

The labour board ruling also remarks that this is not the first time Fortis Properties has interfered in its employees' lawful union activities.

In 2007, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal found that the company's actions "tainted" the initial union certification process launched by employees, the board notes.

SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Lawrence McKay, USW Area Co-ordinator, 506-857-0999, 506-874-9240, lmckay@usw.ca


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