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The Labour Relations Board handed down an important decision Thursday that should clear the way for ballots to be counted at more than 30 health care sites where employees of Aramark Corporation have signed cards with the Hospital Employees’ Union.
Aramark’s objections to HEU’s “building-block” approach to organizing on a site-by-site basis were soundly rejected by the LRB ruling, which emphasizes workers’ rights to access the collective bargaining process and dismisses the company’s contention that HEU should have been required to organize all sites at the same time.
In a related decision, handed down on May 20, the LRB upheld the right of contracted workers to freely choose the union they wish to represent them when it declared the “partnership agreement” between Aramark and the Industrial Wood and Allied Workers of Canada Local 1-35567 (IWA) to be null and void.
“Although Aramark may choose to appeal this ruling, we are hopeful they
will recognize their employees’ rights to free collective bargaining,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “These workers have waited long enough for the respect and fair treatment that is their due.”
Aramark’s efforts to try and block HEU’s applications for certification were supported by the IWA, Sodexho and Compass Group, who were granted intervenor status in the case.
Currently, Aramark workers at 31 sites have signed up with the HEU and are waiting for the ballot boxes to be opened.