Sears Workers Reach Out to United Steelworkers for Support



    BELLEVILLE, ON, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - After recent announcements by Sears
Canada to cut its employees' vacations, alter their benefits and other terms
of employment, and to layoff call-centre employees at its warehouse and call
centre operation in Belleville, employees have reached out to team up with the
United Steelworkers (USW) to advance their interests.
    "Sears associates in Belleville are talking to us about protecting and
improving their working lives" said USW Staff Representative George Casselman.
"We hear it loud and clear - they want to work together to protect their terms
and conditions of employment and win a real voice in the changes that are
affecting them at work. Associates who are not affected by the recent
announcements are just as concerned as those that are. They are worried about
what the next cut or change will be and whether it will affect them."
    Workers at other warehouse/logistics operation across Ontario have joined
the USW in recent years, including employees at the Jean Coutu warehouse in
Hawkesbury and at the Sears warehouse in Vaughan.
    "Our union is all about working people helping working people," said
Casselman. "As the recession eases and the economy begins to rebound, workers
know that they need an effective and genuine voice on the job. They want a
democratic decision-making process to deal with changes to their wages,
benefits, and working conditions and ensure any changes are those that they
have democratically agreed to and not something that they are being forced to
accept. We can help them achieve their goals."
    The USW's cooperative campaign with Sears workers provides employees with
information about their legal right to join a union. It will support the
legally protected process of workers signing USW confidential union membership
cards in order to ask the Ontario Labour Board to hold a secret ballot vote
for Sears Belleville warehouse and call centre employees to join the
Steelworkers.
    "Sears is a very big name with a very public reputation, so we fully
expect the company and its management to adhere to the sprit and letter of
Ontario law so that employees can make this choice freely. The employees have
the legal right to learn about and to choose Steelworker union membership,"
added Casselman.




For further information:

For further information: George Casselman, 1-800-776-4228, ext No. 231


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