A group of employees at an A&W restaurant in Kamloops, British Columbia, have made history by becoming the first staff members at a Canadian A&W location to successfully unionize. Thirteen workers at the Valleyview restaurant signed union cards, and their certification by the B.C. Labour Relations Board marks a significant milestone in the labor movement.
The decision to unionize was driven by concerns regarding the treatment of employees by management. The workers sought clarity and consistency in the discounts they receive on A&W meals during their shifts. Lack of proper management training and disrespectful behavior towards employees were among the issues raised.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Local 993, who certified the workers, stated that the decision to accept the A&W employees into their union stemmed from wanting to support them on their journey to fair and just working conditions. The union’s previous successes in securing favorable terms for non-electrician members through collective agreements appealed to the workers seeking better working conditions.
Recognized as an anti-union company, A&W carries a reputation for being resistant to organized labor. However, the determination of the Kamloops workers pushed them to join forces with the IBEW to achieve their goal of unionization quickly.
The certification process occurred amidst a high turnover rate at the restaurant, leading to fluctuations in the number of workers employed during the card-signing drive. While twenty employees worked at the restaurant at the time of certification, the constant turnover made it challenging to retain a stable workforce.
The successful unionization of the Kamloops A&W restaurant adds to the growing trend of workers across different industries in Canada seeking to amplify their voices and improve working conditions through collective bargaining. By standing together and unionizing, employees are demonstrating their commitment to advocate for a fair and equitable workplace.
Q: Why did the A&W workers in Kamloops unionize?
A: The workers decided to unionize due to issues with management treatment and a desire for clarity and consistency in the discounts they receive on A&W meals during their shifts.
Q: Why did the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) accept the A&W employees into their union?
A: The IBEW welcomed the A&W employees into their union because they wanted to support the workers in achieving fair working conditions, considering the union’s successful track record in securing favorable terms for their members.
Q: Did A&W Canada comment on the unionization?
A: CBC News has contacted A&W Canada for comment, but their response is not yet available.