Home Depot Supplier Throws Hundreds Out of Work in Quebec



    
    UNITE HERE Launches Nationwide Campaign against Beaulieu Canada after
    company uses threat of closure in contract negotiations
    

    ACTON VALE, QC, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - The Quebec Council of UNITE HERE will
launch a nationwide campaign today, 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 today 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."





For further information:

For further information: Thao Dao, (514) 844-8644 ext 242, or (514)
887-3463 (cell); or Wynne Hartviksen, (416) 510-0887 ext 265, or (416)
473-2632 (cell)

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UNITE HERE CANADA

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