Click on the image above to watch the CTV interview that explains how important this decision is for Zellers-Target locations and retail workers in Quebec.
Montréal, June 28, 2013 – United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW Canada) was pleased to see the impact of its targetfairness.ca campaign after the Quebec Labour Standards Commission recognized for the first time the specific nature of the transaction that left former Zellers employees in an impasse following the purchase of the Zellers Canadian banner by U.S. retailing giant Target. These workers will no longer be disadvantaged by the gap in Québec’s legislation and can now exercise their rights.
During an interview with Le Soleil reporter Marie-Pier Duplessis, published on June 28, 2013, the spokesperson for the Labour Standards Commission, Jean-François Pelchat, announced that all former Zellers employees who had applied for a job at Target, and whose application was turned down, had 45 days from the date of the denial notice to file a complaint with the Commission for dismissal without just cause under sections 96 and 97 of the Act.
This is an exceptional situation since it is the first time in Québec that the transition period for a change in ownership is so long. Normally, employees have a specified period of 45 days following their termination to file a complaint. Nevertheless, the Zellers store closures in Québec occurred between the months of September 2012 and March 2013. Due to the fact that the Target stores will not open before the fall, the 45-day period will have expired. Since the date of Target’s denial letter is considered as the date of termination, former Zellers employees will finally have recourse by filing a complaint with the Labour Standards Commission.
As far as UFCW Canada is concerned, the Commission’s decision is a positive step toward recognition of the existence of the employment relationship between former Zellers employees and their new employer – Target. That is why it is very important that all former Zellers employees who were turned away by Target file a complaint with the Commission within the designated time limits.
“It's an important day for Zellers employees. At last, their labour rights are being recognized and Target will have no choice but to respect them. We encourage all the men and women who suffered another setback from Target to file a complaint with the Labour Standards Commission. The more employees who file a complaint, the clearer the message will be that the company is not above the law and that it cannot use unethical ploys with impunity. Even if these workers are not union members, UFCW will support them all along the process,” says Antonio Filato, president of UFCW Canada Local 500.
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