LAVAL, QC, April 25, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Multi-Marques, widely-known for its Pom, Bon matin and Villaggio bread brands, is violating the Quebec Labour Code by conceding a part of its distribution activities to scabs thereby supplanting its 120 unionized workers that they locked out last April 1, according to a Labour Ministry report. The Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) maintains that Canada Bread is likewise circumventing the Quebec law by transferring over half of its distribution activities to its Cornwall plant, in Ontario. It is thus asking the Labour Ministry to call the company (a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo) to order, as well as inviting the Mexican Consulate in Montreal to intervene vis-à-vis this multinational corporation to put an end to this senseless and costly conflict, in human terms.
A report from the Ministry's investigator, issued on April 18, demonstrates that 11 people have performed or illegally continue to do the work that is generally done by the unionized workers and this, notwithstanding a lock-out that was decreed last April 1 at midnight. Up until that date, explains David Bergeron-Cyr, from the Federation of Commerce (FC–CSN) to which the Union of Multi-Marques Distribution Workers (CSN) is affiliated, negotiations to renew the collective agreement, which had expired last September 22, were going well. But an ultimatum, given to the Union a few minutes before the lock-out, abruptly put an end to the 23rd and last bargaining session, while several subjects still remained to be settled, including salaries, pension plan and group insurance.
Almost everything is settled!
"As we speak, almost all the matters in dispute were settled during the four conciliation sessions that were held at the Labour Ministry, over the past two weeks, affirms David Bergeron-Cyr. Only a few details are left, as well as a back to work protocol, which the company refuses to settle. That is why we're asking the Minister of Labour, Ms. Dominique Vien, to step up to her responsibilities and remind Canada Bread that it must comply with the law, terminate the conflict and accordingly restore the workers' ability to earn a living."
Jean Lacharité, Vice-President of the CSN explains: "We ardently hope that the multinational Grupo Bimbo and its subsidiary Canada Bread will comply with the habits and customs, as well as the laws that prevail in the Province, including the anti-scab provisions that were adopted here over 40 years ago. We invite moreover Grupo Bimbo to comply with its own Code of Ethics that affirms that they seek to "treat all their associates (employees) with respect in a environment that fosters their personal and professional development". However, keeping their 120 employees out on the street, without any income is pretty dismal behaviour for a company that purports to "be proudly committed and support, through our daily work and attitudes, the principles and values of the community in which we live." Grupo Bimbo could do a lot better were they to send a positive and above all constructive sign to all its employees", concludes Mr. Lacharité.
In 2016, Grupo Bimbo chalked up nearly US$7 billion in sales. It does business in 22 countries, where it employs some 127,000 people in 144 plants and boasts over 1,600 distribution centres. Meanwhile, Canada Bread employs more than 4,200 people in Canada, where they operate 18 plants and 19 distribution centres. Besides the Pom, Bon Matin and Villaggio bread brands, the company sells brands such as Dempster's, Ben's, McGavins and Vachon.
About the CSN
The Union of Multi-Marques Distribution Workers is affiliated to the FC–CSN, a leading bargaining agent that groups together some 30,000 unionized workers who are employed in the agri-food, tourism, hotel, finance, retail, wholesale and miscellaneous services sectors. The Union is also affiliated to the Montreal Metropolitan Central Council, which counts nearly 95,000 unionized workers, in both the private and public sectors. The CSN, meanwhile boasts over 325,000 unionized members, likewise from both the private and public sectors.
For further information: Jean-Pierre Larche, Communications-CSN: (514) 605-0757 or [email protected]