Employers' union-bashing tactics lead to automatic certification

TORONTO, March 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) issued an important and far-reaching decision that may fundamentally change the approach employers in Ontario take to future union organizing drives.

In its March 3rd decision, the OLRB ordered automatic certification of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada after finding that the employer, Boehmer Box LP of Kitchener, threatened its employees during a CEP organizing drive, in May 2008, by directly and indirectly linking unionization with risks of plant closure and job loss.

CEP's case to the OLRB focused primarily on a series of union-bashing letters distributed by the employer in the days leading up to the representation vote.

The OLRB concluded that, as a result of the employer's misconduct, the true wishes of the employees were not likely reflected in the unsuccessful representation vote conducted on May 15, 2008. The OLRB further concluded that any other potential remedies to this violation of the Act including ordering a second representation vote, would not be sufficient to counter the effects of the employer's misconduct.

"This is a victory for the employees of Boehmer Box and for workers throughout Ontario who should be allowed to choose to form a union in their workplace free from employer threats, intimidation and coercion," says Ontario Region Administrative Vice-President Kim Ginter.

"Since the mid 1990s when the Mike Harris Conservatives declared war on workers and labour laws in Ontario, employers have become more and more outrageous in their attacks on employees attempting to unionize," says Ginter. "This decision makes it clear to employers that they can no longer cross the line and threaten the economic livelihood of their workers in order to prevent them from freely choosing for themselves, whether they wish to be represented by a union in their workplace".

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Kim Ginter, (905) 678-0800, ext 260, cell: (416) 931-2379

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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